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 [9/2/19]

• The ACLU of Virginia announced that a lawsuit against the Virginia Department of Corrections (VDOC) has moved forward, after Federal District Court Judge Robert Payne dismissed an attempt by the VDOC to dismiss the suit. The lawsuit, filed on behalf of Nicolas Reyes, a Hispanic man who spent over twelve years in solitary confinement at Red […]

Seven Days in Solitary [8/12/19]

• Reports this week on the suicide of high-profile detainee Jeffrey Epstein at the federal Metropolitan Correctional Center (MCC) in Manhattan have been full of questions and speculation about how such a thing could have been allowed to happen. Epstein had reportedly been on suicide watch, but was taken off and was in a cell […]

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 […]

Solitary Confinement in Immigration Detention Is a Grim Reality—and Only Likely to Get Worse

Last month, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), in conjunction with The Intercept, NBC News, and Univision, published the results of an extensive investigation into the use of solitary confinement in American immigration detention facilities. The report, which reviewed 8,488 recorded stays in solitary confinement between 2012 and early 2017, found that solitary was […]

Seven Days in Solitary [7/29/19]

• The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that U.S. District Court Judge Billy Ray issued an injunction for Fulton County, Georgia, to release mentally ill women from solitary confinement within 30 days. The Georgia Advocacy Office filed a lawsuit on behalf of 30 to 40 women held at South Fulton Municipal Regional Jail in April, presenting evidence that […]

Seven Days in Solitary [7/22/19]

• Reuters (along with many other media outlets) reported that Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán was sent to the U.S. Penitentiary Administrative Maximum, or ADX, in Florence, Colorado, on Friday, after being sentenced to life in prison plus 30 years on drug trafficking and murder conspiracy charges. Guzmán said that the conditions he had faced at the Metropolitan Correctional Center, […]

Seven Days in Solitary [7/13/19]

• As NorthJersey.com reported, Governor Phil Murphy signed the Isolated Confinement Restriction Act, hailed as “the strongest legislation restricting solitary in the nation,” by ACLU of New Jersey Executive Director Amol Sinha. The bill, taking effect next year, will ban solitary confinement for longer than 20 consecutive days and prohibit the isolation of youth, elderly people, pregnant […]

Seven Days in Solitary [7/8/19]

• The Southern Poverty Law Center filed a class action lawsuit recently, alleging that Florida’s use of solitary confinement constitutes a violation of the 8th Amendment, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the Rehabilitation Act. About 10,000 people—or 10 percent—of those held in Florida prisons currently live in solitary, which is double the national average. Admire […]