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 […]

Solitary Watch Partners With Advocacy Groups on First Report Exposing Solitary Confinement in Nevada

A new report produced by the ACLU of Nevada, Nevada Disability Advocacy & Law Center, and Solitary Watch is the first to document the scope and impact of solitary confinement in Nevada. Unlocking Solitary Confinement: Ending Extreme Isolation in Nevada State Prisons reveals the number of people held in solitary in the state’s eight state prisons, details […]

Trump Wants to Bring Back Torture. For Thousands of Americans, It Never Went Away.

Among the many human rights calamities ushered in by the Trump era is a renewal of the national debate over the legitimacy of physical torture. The President, unsurprisingly, has long been in favor of it, asserting repeatedly that “torture works,” and promising to bring back practices “a hell of a lot worse” than waterboarding. A […]

How Britain Does Supermax

What is a prison system to do with what are sometimes called the “worst of the worst” among its charges? How can prisons handle individuals who have been so violent that they cannot be housed in the general population? For decades, in the United States, the answer has been to place them, along with tens […]

New Federal Supermax Prison Will Double Capacity for Extreme Solitary Confinement

Amid growing controversy around the use of solitary confinement in U.S. prisons and jails, and in advance of an audit of its own prison “segregation” practices, the federal government is quietly moving ahead with a plan that would significantly increase its capacity to house individuals in long-term isolation. The 2015 Omnibus Appropriations bill passed by […]

Inside ADX Supermax: "A Bloody Nightmare"

In June 2012, a federal lawsuit was filed by eleven prisoners at the United States Penitentiary, Administrative Maximum Facility (ADX Florence) against the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP). The facility houses approximately 450 men from across the country in solitary confinement units. The lawsuit alleges that inmates diagnosed with mental illnesses are denied constitutionally adequate […]

Why Holder's Pledge That Snowden "Will Not Be Tortured" Is a Lie

In a letter pressing Russia not to grant asylum to former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, Attorney General Eric Holder made the highly disingenuous promise that Snowden will not be tortured if he is returned to the United States. “I can report that the United States is prepared to provide to the Russian government the following assurances regarding the treatment Mr. […]