Seven Days in Solitary [10/13/21]

• A Kaiser Health News report co-published with NPR details the trauma that survivors of solitary confinement carry with them years after their imprisonment. Pamela Winn, founder of nonprofit RestoreHER, which fights against mass-incarceration, describes her lasting mental health effects from spending eight months in solitary confinement. Her time in solitary continues to make it difficult […]

Seven Days in Solitary [10/6/21]

• On September 30th, the Washington State Department of Corrections (DOC) claimed that it will end the use of disciplinary segregation as punishment in prisons after determining that most individuals moved to solitary were there for nonviolent offenses, reports the Seattle Times. Although in the DOC Secretary’s statement she justified the policy change saying, “the science […]

Seven Days in Solitary [9/29/21]

• Reporting from the Moultrie Observer draws on various investigations into conditions in Georgia prisons. At a legislative hearing last week, families spoke about the dangers their loved ones faced and the failure to protect them and provide appropriate care. Allegations include inadequate protection, medical neglect, staff absenteeism, and isolation of mentally ill individuals. The Southern […]

Seven Days in Solitary [9/22/21]

• A new federal lawsuit alleges that men held in solitary confinement in Georgia State Prison are dangerously deprived of adequate mental healthcare, reports News Channel 9. Filed on September 10, the proposed class-action lawsuit seeks “to stop prison officials from isolating people in deplorable conditions.” In the last two years, at least 12 people in […]

Voices From Solitary: This Inhumane Project Called Solitary Confinement

Ronald Clark, 53, is currently held on Florida’s Death Row at Union Correctional Institution in Railford. Death-sentenced individuals held by the Florida Department of Corrections are confined in a 63-square-foot cell for upwards of 23 hours a day, and subjected to additional isolation for disciplinary infractions. On his blog The Death Row Poet, Clark writes […]

Seven Days in Solitary [9/15/21]

• A Time Magazine retrospective reflects on prison conditions 50 years after the Attica Correctional Facility uprising. Heather Ann Thompson, author of the prize-winning book on Attica, Blood in the Water, writes that back in 1971, ending solitary confinement was high on the uprising’s list of demands. Thompson describes that although the uprising’s stated intentions were […]

Back-to-School Resource: Reading/ Teaching Guide for "Hell Is a Very Small Place: Voices from Solitary Confinement"

First published in 2016 by The New Press, ​Hell Is a Very Small Place: Voices from Solitary Confinement​ is the first book to feature firsthand accounts—both writing and oral history—about the experience of solitary confinement in U.S. prisons, jails, and detention centers. It includes pieces by 16 currently and formerly incarcerated men and women. This […]

Seven Days in Solitary [9/1/21]

• The New York Times reports that federal officials announced the temporary closure of the Metropolitan Correctional Center (MCC), a federal jail in Lower Manhattan. They have described it as part of an effort to improve conditions at the jail, which have been dangerous for years, but only received widespread attention in 2019 after the suicide […]

Seven Days in Solitary [8/25/21]

• An opinion piece in USA Today reports that low rates of vaccination among prison staff nationally are driving COVID outbreaks in prisons. The authors of the piece work with the UCLA Law COVID Behind Bars Data Project, which found that fewer than half of prison staff had been vaccinated, despite the fact that the […]