Voices From Solitary: Postcards From a Prison Pandemic

Incarcerated writer James Keown has been composing a series, “Postcards From a Prison Pandemic,” about the coronavirus’s impact on the medium-security MCI-Norfolk in Massachusetts, where he has spent the past two decades. Here we include excerpts from three of his posts. First, writing in April, he compared bracing for the impact of coronavirus to watching an […]

How to Survive Supermax

This week, The New Republic published a long essay by Arthur Longworth, which was written with the support of a grant from the Solitary Confinement Reporting Project, managed by Solitary Watch with funding from the Vital Projects Fund. Longworth has been incarcerated for 35 years and has spent long stretches in solitary. He is a 2019–2020 PEN America Writing for […]

As COVID-19 Spreads Through Prisons, Solitary Confinement Is Used to Punish Whistleblowers and Suppress Protests

In early April, as reports of deaths from COVID-19 began to emerge from U.S. prisons and jails, Aaron Campell posted a desperate 20-minute Facebook Live video shot using a contraband cell phone. The video showed sick people gasping and coughing on his unit in the low-security federal FCI Elkton in Ohio, and one of the […]

Help Us Show People in Solitary That They Are Not Forgotten

Dear Readers, Supporters, and Friends: For tens of thousands of people locked away in U.S. prisons and jails, the extreme deprivation and isolation of solitary confinement causes unimaginable suffering. One person living in solitary described his existence to us as “a soul-destroying loneliness that never ends.” In this context, even the smallest human connection can […]

Massachusetts Department of Correction Gives a Lesson in How to Get Around Solitary Confinement Reforms

In April 2018, advocates in Massachusetts celebrated the signing of the Criminal Justice Reform Act (CJRA), which mandated changes throughout the state’s criminal justice system. Included among the reforms were some new restrictions on the use of solitary confinement, set to go into effect at the beginning of 2019. But advocates say that instead of […]