Seven Days in Solitary [1/21/19]

• On January 16, Paul Ford died in his solitary cell at Kilby Prison, the second incarcerated person in the custody of Alabama Department of Corrections (ADOC) to commit suicide this year. Although Ford had been diagnosed with a mood disorder and had attempted suicide several times before while in prison, his mental health screening for placement […]

Seven Days in Solitary [12/16/18]

• As part of an ongoing series, the Virginian-Pilot published an article discussing the widespread placement of mentally ill people in local jails across the country and exploring cheaper, more humane, and more effective alternatives. Behind the statistic that over 3,000 U.S. jails “house roughly 186,000 people in serious psychological distress” is the reality that […]

Seven Days in Solitary [10/14/18]

• Yale University’s Liman Center, in partnership with the Association of State Correctional Administrators, produced a report Reforming Restrictive Housing with data collected in 2017 of the number of people in restricted housing in federal and state prisons across the nation. The survey, based on numbers reported by the prisons, found that the number of […]

Supreme Court Justice Kennedy Invites Constitutional Challenge of Solitary Confinement

Guest Post by Samuel Weiss and Amy Fettig Samuel Weiss is Ford Foundation Fellow at the ACLU’s Center for Justice. Amy Fettig is Senior Staff Counsel at the ACLU’s National Prison Project. In March, Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy was testifying before the House Appropriations Subcommittee when he received a question on prison overcrowding. He responded […]

Supreme Court Justice Kennedy: "Solitary Confinement Literally Drives Men Mad"

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy on Monday used long-term solitary confinement as evidence that the “idea of total incarceration just isn’t working.” Solitary “literally drives men mad,” Kennedy said, noting that more humane alternatives are employed elsewhere in the world. Kennedy’s comments were made during a House Appropriations Subcommittee hearing on the 2016 Budget Request for […]

Supreme Court Rules Against Exonerated Death Row Inmate, for Prosecutors Who Withheld Evidence

Last October we wrote at length about the case of John Thompson, who spent 14 years on death row before he was exonerated–based on evidence that had been purposefully withheld by prosecutors in the office of New Orleans DA Harry Connick Sr.  A Louisiana jury found the DA’s office culpable for Thompson’s ordeal (which included coming […]