Seven Days in Solitary [9/7/20]

• Sara “Mariposa” Fonseca, who has been incarcerated for eighteen years in the California state prison system, including several years in solitary confinement, will be released from prison on September 11, 2020. During her lonest stinct in solitary, Fonseca wrote a play about her experience, in partnership with artist and activist Julia Steele Allen, called Mariposa […]

Voices from Solitary: Fighting the Coronavirus in Prison with Transfers, Isolation, Threats, and Game Boys

The following piece is written by Christopher Blackwell, a 39-year-old man incarcerated at Washington State Reformatory in the Monroe Correctional Complex (MCC), serving the last 23 years of a 45-year sentence. Blackwell was first incarcerated at the age of 11 and by the time he was 18-years-old, he faced 16 charges. Since then, he has […]

At San Quentin, a Desperate Man Goes on Hunger Strike to Protest Conditions in a COVID-19 Isolation Unit

Editor’s Note: Juan Moreno Haines is an award-winning journalist incarcerated at San Quentin State Prison and a member of the Society of Professional Journalists. In February, before the pandemic visibly hit the United States, Haines wrote a prescient piece that was published in The Appeal (and supported by a grant from the Solitary Confinement Reporting Project) documenting how San Quentin […]

Fourteen Days in Solitary [7/20/20]

• The Cornell Chronicle published an article highlighting the findings of a study released in March, studying the affects of short stints in solitary confinement on a person’s experience once they are released from prison. In their study, professor Christopher Wildeman and researcher Lars Andersen found those held in solitary—even for as short as one or […]

Fourteen Days in Solitary [7/6/20]

• NPR’s Joseph Shapiro produced a piece that ran on “All Things Considered” about the use of lockdowns and solitary confinement around the country in response to the coronavirus pandemic. The piece focused on a recent report from the national Unlock the Box campaign, which is based on research and analysis by Solitary Watch, and found that […]

In San Quentin, Getting the Flu Can Land You in Solitary Confinement

Incarcerated journalist Juan Moreno Haines is the Senior Editor of the San Quentin News. In 2017, Haines received the Silver Heart Award from the Society of Professional Journalists. This article was produced with a grant from the Solitary Confinement Reporting Project, which is managed by Solitary Watch with funding from the Vital Projects Fund. An illustration by O. […]

Seven Days in Solitary [6/24/18]

• The Associated Press reported on a lawsuit filed by immigrant youth held at the Shenandoah Valley Juvenile Center in Virginia. The suit claims that the children faced physical restraints, solitary confinement, and abuse from the detention center staff. A child development specialist recalled, “They would get put in isolation for months for things like picking […]

Seven Days in Solitary [2/11/18]

• The new film Cruel and Unusual is the story of the Angola 3—Robert King, Herman Wallace, and Albert Woodfox, who collectively endured more than 100 years in solitary confinement in the Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola (and whose story helped inspire us to launch Solitary Watch eight years ago). The feature-length documentary tells a story of […]