Prisons Use Solitary Confinement to Silence Strikers Nationwide—But Their Voices Have Been Heard

In commemoration of the Attica Uprising 47 years earlier, incarcerated organizers chose yesterday as the final day of the nearly three-week-long National Prison Strike that began on August 21. The strike eventually extended to federal prisons, state prisons, immigration detention centers, and local jails across at least fourteen states, with actions ranging from work stoppages […]

Seven Days in Solitary [9/2/18]

• The Guardian reported further suppression and retaliation against incarcerated organizers of the Nationwide Prison Strike, specifically through the use of solitary confinement and long-distance transfers. According to a spokesperson for the Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee, “Leaders were picked off, one by one, and thrown into solitary in anticipation of the strike that was coming.” […]

Seven Days in Solitary [8/19/18]

• According to The Appeal, the Promise of Justice Initiative released a report examining the high rate of deaths in the custody of the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison (EBRPP) in Louisiana. Twenty-five men, fifteen of whom were African American and most of whom suffered from a mental or physical illness, died at EBRPP between 2012 […]

Seven Days in Solitary [8/5/18]

• According to the Associated Press, lawyers for the Southern Center for Human Rights wrote a letter to Georgia corrections officials this week calling for an end to the state’s practice of releasing individuals directly from solitary confinement back into society. The lawyers, currently representing individuals held at the Special Management Unit (SMU) at the […]

Seven Days in Solitary [7/22/18]

• The Midland Reporter-Telegraph covered a hearing with lawmakers in Santa Fe this week regarding allegations of abuse and solitary confinement at Otero County Processing Center and Cibola County facility, both privately operated Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) facilities in New Mexico. Joselin Mendez, who was held at Cibola County facility after fleeing gender discrimination […]

Seven Days in Solitary [7/1/18]

• The Associated Press published an anonymous firsthand account from an 18-year-old Honduran boy who experienced abuse at the Shenandoah Valley Juvenile Center and participated in the recent lawsuit against alleged brutality and use of solitary confinement at the facility. The plaintiff reported incidents including officers withholding food and a group of officers kicking him so […]

Seven Days in Solitary [6/24/18]

• The Associated Press reported on a lawsuit filed by immigrant youth held at the Shenandoah Valley Juvenile Center in Virginia. The suit claims that the children faced physical restraints, solitary confinement, and abuse from the detention center staff. A child development specialist recalled, “They would get put in isolation for months for things like picking […]

In Virginia's Prisons, Hundreds Still Trapped in Solitary Confinement Despite Reforms — and Denials

In 2016, the Virginia Department of Corrections (VADOC) announced it had significantly reduced its use of solitary confinement, particularly in the state’s two supermax facilities, Red Onion and Wallens Ridge. The reforms were welcome news: Five years earlier, the Washington Post reported that five percent of people in Virginia’s prisons were in solitary, including more […]

Seven Days in Solitary [6/3/18]

• The 2014 wrongful death case of 57-year-old James Embry has been revived, and WDRB News obtained a video showing Embry emaciated in the last moments of his life. Embry starved to death in solitary confinement, after refusing 35 out of his 36 last meals at the Kentucky State Penitentiary, where he had been sentenced […]

Seven Days in Solitary [5/27/18]

• The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) filed a lawsuit this week against the forced labor practices of private prison company CoreCivic, which runs Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) facilities including the Stewart Detention Center in Georgia. The lawsuit claims that CoreCivic’s “Dollar-a-Day” program pays immigrants nearly nothing to carry out duties that in other […]

Seven Days in Solitary [5/20/18]

• The Charlotte Observer reported that 39-year-old Kenneth Wayne Bigham committed suicide only days after being placed in solitary confinement at Mecklenburg County Jail in North Carolina, where no visitors, phone calls, or books are allowed, with the exception of religious material. A spokesperson for the NC ACLU said, “This tragedy is a terrible reminder […]