Seven Days in Solitary [12/9/19]

• Mother Jones reported that a federal judge in California approved the class action status of a lawsuit filed against the private prison company GEO Group for its forced labor practices in Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention facilities across the country. The lawsuit challenges the company’s Housing Unit Sanitation Policy that requires detained people […]

Seven Days in Solitary [12/2/19]

• KTVU Fox 2 TV in the Bay Area reported on the death of 29-year-old Edwin Villalta, who committed suicide at the Santa Rita Jail in Alameda County in 2017 after being held in “Administrative Isolation” for seventeen days. Villalta’s family said he suffered from PTSD after his time in the Marines, which they say was not taken into […]

Seven Days in Solitary [11/25/19]

• The Philadelphia Inquirer reported that the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections agreed to a settlement with the Abolitionist Law Center (ALC) and the ACLU of Pennsylvania last week that will end indefinite solitary confinement for people held on death row in the state. The 136 people with death sentences will now have over 42 hours […]

Seven Days in Solitary [10/21/19]

• The Texas Observer published an article about Russell Johnson, who died this past summer in solitary confinement in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) Coffield Unit. His sister, Tambra Marsh, had noticed during her visits that her brother had psychologically deteriorated since his placement in solitary in 2016. Johnson talked about the voices haunting […]

Seven Days in Solitary [9/30/19]

• Katherine Hawkins, the Senior Legal Analyst for the Project on Government Oversight, testified on Thursday before the U.S. House Committee on Homeland Security about the conditions in Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention facilities. Hawkins cited a 2017 report by the Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties that found “shockingly high” stays in […]

Seven Days in Solitary [8/26/19]

• According to the Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee (IWOC), nine people held at Scotland Correctional Institution in North Carolina, calling themselves the Scotland 9, have been hunger striking for nearly a month since July 31. The strikers are calling for recreation to be re-instated, increased allowance of phone calls, an end to sleep deprivation practices, and […]

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 [7/22/19]

• 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 […]

Seven Days in Solitary [6/17/19]

• In a Spanish-language broadcast, Univision reported that a hunger strike in support of the Humane Alternatives to Long-Term (HALT) Solitary Confinement Act has reached 29 participants. The advocates gathered outside the office of New York Senate Majority leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, calling for the HALT bill to be brought to a vote. The HALT bill currently has […]