Seven Days in Solitary [11/18/19]

• Representative Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) introduced a House Resolution that she calls “The People’s Justice Guarantee,” which lays out steps for a “humane and effective justice system,”“mass decarceration,”  and diversionary alternatives for community safety. According to The Appeal, Pressley said, “The criminal legal justice system is racist, xenophobic, rogue, and fundamentally flawed beyond reform. It […]

Seven Days in Solitary [4/29/19]

• The Appeal reported that incarcerated hunger strikers protesting the use of solitary confinement and “retaliatory transfers” have been kept in appalling conditions at Holman Correctional Facility in Alabama. An incarcerated organizer described what happened when the water was shut off in cells: “They was forced to stay in a cell with urine in the commode […]

Seven Days in Solitary [4/15/19]

• The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that the Georgia Advocacy Office and the Southern Center for Human Rights filed a lawsuit, claiming that women with psychiatric disabilities reside isolated in “unimaginable conditions,” including pools of urine, food and feces-smeared floors, a smell of vomit, and overflowing toilets. Attorney Sarah Geraghty from the Southern Center said, “It […]

Prisons Use Solitary Confinement to Silence Strikers Nationwide—But Their Voices Have Been Heard

In commemoration of the Attica Uprising 47 years earlier, incarcerated organizers chose September 9 as the final day of the nearly three-week-long National Prison Strike that began on August 21. The strike eventually extended to federal prisons, state prisons, immigration detention centers, and local jails across at least fourteen states, with actions ranging from work […]

Seven Days in Solitary [9/23/18]

• The Tacoma News Tribune reported that immigrants detained at the Northwest Detention Center (NWDC), an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) facility in Tacoma, Washington, have engaged in hunger strikes to protest separation from their children, inhumane conditions at the facility, and a forced labor program, among other concerns. Two of the hunger strikers, one of […]

Seven Days in Solitary [8/19/18]

• According to The Appeal, the Promise of Justice Initiative released a report examining the high rate of deaths in the custody of the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison (EBRPP) in Louisiana. Twenty-five men, fifteen of whom were African American and most of whom suffered from a mental or physical illness, died at EBRPP between 2012 […]

Seven Days in Solitary [6/10/18]

• The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported that a 48-year-old man, Dan Vasalech, has been placed in solitary confinement in the Allegheny County Jail in Pittsburgh for a remark he made criticizing the administration’s decision to lock down the jail so that the corrections officers could attend the funeral of a recently deceased officer. Vasalech received a […]

Voices from Solitary: High Tech Brutality

Robert “Saleem” Holbrook is serving life without parole in Pennsylvania for a crime committed when he was a juvenile. When he was 16, Holbrook was recruited by adults to serve as a lookout during a drug deal that escalated to robbery and then murder. Under the state’s mandatory sentencing laws, he was given LWOP–an experience he describes in an […]