Seven Days in Solitary [10/7/19]

• A groundbreaking and disturbing new study published by the JAMA Network found that people held in solitary confinement during their incarceration had a “significantly” higher likelihood of dying within the first year of their release back into the community. The study used data from the North Carolina Department of Public Safety tracking nearly 230,000 incarcerated people […]

Seven Days in Solitary [9/16/19]

• The Colorado Independent reported on the story of Sam Mandez, a 41-year-old man who was sentenced to life without parole under the state’s felony murder law for being the lookout at a robbery at which someone was killed. Mandez was fourteen years old at the time. Under the 2012 Supreme Court ruling that bars mandatory life […]

Seven Days in Solitary [9/9/19]

• According to the Associated Press, NBC news anchor Lestor Holt spent two nights in a cell at the Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola, to report on criminal justice reform. Holt stayed in the prison’s death row unit, where people are isolated in their cells for 23 hours a day. The man housed next to Holt had […]

Seven Days in Solitary [8/5/19]

• According to CNN, the cause of 27-year-old Layleen Polanco’s death in June on the transgender “restricted housing unit” at Rikers Island in New York has been revealed as an epileptic seizure. Attorney David Shanies said that Polanco had suffered several seizures at Rikers and corrections officials were aware of her condition. “When an epileptic person […]

Seven Days in Solitary [7/1/19]

• The Advocate reported on the release of a report by Solitary Watch, the ACLU of Louisiana, and the Jesuit Social Research Institute at Loyola University New Orleans, which reflects the survey responses of 709 people in solitary confinement in Louisiana state prisons. Over 77 percent who responded said that they had been held in solitary for […]

Seven Days in Solitary [5/13/19]

• The Raleigh News & Observer reported that 32-year-old Jordan Jedlica died last week from low sodium levels, after he was found unresponsive in a solitary confinement cell at Warren Correctional Institution in North Carolina. His family says he had no history of medical problems and the doctor told them severely low sodium levels would cause […]

Seven Days in Solitary [5/6/19]

• The Sacramento Bee published recently released footage from 2017 of corrections officers brutally assaulting a man with psychiatric disabilities, while he was being held in a suicide watch cell at the Auburn Main Jail in Placer County, California. The video, which officials initially withheld from the public, at one point shows eight officers piled on […]

Seven Days in Solitary [4/8/19]

• According to WBRC, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) released their investigation of the Alabama Department of Corrections, which found “violations are severe, systemic, and exacerbated by serious deficiencies in staffing and supervision.” The report found a “high level of violence that is too common, cruel, of an unusual nature, and pervasive” and “the use […]

Seven Days in Solitary [3/4/19]

• According to the Associated Press, the ACLU of New Mexico released a report last week based on prison records obtained under public records law and a survey of incarcerated people. The report disputed the state’s account that they use solitary at a rate of 4 percent, finding that in reality, the state uses solitary at a […]

Behind the Pennsylvania Prison Lockdown: Public Health Crisis or Powerplay?

This article is published in partnership with Truthout. Patricia Marshall Vickers still remembers the week in late August 2018 when she stopped hearing from her son. Incarcerated in Pennsylvania since he was 17 years old, Vickers’s son faithfully called his mother from prison at least every other day—until suddenly, he didn’t. Vickers learned that other family members were […]