Voices from Solitary: Fighting the Coronavirus in Prison with Transfers, Isolation, Threats, and Game Boys

The following piece is written by Christopher Blackwell, a 39-year-old man incarcerated at Washington State Reformatory in the Monroe Correctional Complex (MCC), serving the last 23 years of a 45-year sentence. Blackwell was first incarcerated at the age of 11 and by the time he was 18-years-old, he faced 16 charges. Since then, he has […]

Fourteen Days in Solitary [8/24/20]

• The Los Angeles Times published a piece on the work of 60-year-old Dolores Canales, who co-founded California Families Against Solitary Confinement in 2011. Canales is also a member of the Steering Committee of the Unlock the Box campaign, a group that has worked closely with Solitary Watch. Canales’ son is currently incarcerated at Theo Lacy […]

Seven Days in Solitary [8/10/20]

• Courthouse News Service reported that U.S. District Judge James Gwin ruled that confining people in what are officially general population cells for 23 hours a day does not violate the landmark 2015 settlement banning indefinite solitary confinement in California state prisons. While Samuel Miller, an attorney with Center for Constitutional Rights, argued that the […]

Fourteen Days in Solitary [7/6/20]

• NPR’s Joseph Shapiro produced a piece that ran on “All Things Considered” about the use of lockdowns and solitary confinement around the country in response to the coronavirus pandemic. The piece focused on a recent report from the national Unlock the Box campaign, which is based on research and analysis by Solitary Watch, and found that […]

Seven Days in Solitary [6/15/20]

• According to the Richmond Times-Dispatch, solitary confinement remains the only housing option for many incarcerated transgender people, unless they choose to stay in a general population of the opposite gender. Kamiah Kahanel, a transgender woman held in the male Nottoway Correctional Center in Virginia, was attacked by an incarcerated man, who cut her face and […]

Seven Days in Solitary [5/11/20]

• The Texas Tribune reported that of the people in prison who have been tested for the coronavirus, 70 percent have tested positive. Only one percent of the prison population, or 1,700 people, has been tested but the percentage of positive results far outweighs the ten percent of Texas residents throughout the whole state whose […]

Seven Days in Solitary [4/27/20]

• The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists released the conclusion of a study, finding that African and Caribbean immigrants are held in solitary confinement six times more often than their non-Black counterparts in Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) facilities. Black immigrants represent four percent of all ICE detainees but make up 24 percent of stays […]

Seven Days in Solitary [3/2/20]

• The Montgomery Advertiser reported that the families of four men who committed suicide in Alabama prisons in the past two years have filed a wrongful death lawsuit, claiming they faced cruel and unusual punishment. The Southern Poverty Law Center says that the Alabama Department of Corrections (ADOC) violates their own policies, including routine security […]

Seven Days in Solitary [11/11/19]

• The ACLU will host a briefing on Capitol Hill on legislation recently introduced by U.S. Representative Cedric Richmond (D-LA). HR4488, the Solitary Confinement Study and Reform Act of 2019, would establish national standards to limit the use of solitary in U.S. correctional facilities. The briefing will take place in Room 121, Cannon House Office Building, 27 Independence Ave SE, Washington, […]

Seven Days in Solitary [11/4/19]

• According to the Crime Report, the New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU) released a report last week that found an increase in the use of solitary confinement across the New York prison system. “The total number of disciplinary solitary sanctions has actually increased, from 37,600 in 2015 to 38,249 in 2018,” according to the report, […]