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 [10/7/19]

• A groundbreaking and disturbing new study published by the JAMA Network found that people held in solitary confinement during their incarceration had a “significantly” higher likelihood of dying within the first year of their release back into the community. The study used data from the North Carolina Department of Public Safety tracking nearly 230,000 incarcerated people […]

Seven Days in Solitary [9/23/19]

• The Associated Press reported on recently released video footage that provides information about the death last year of 22-year-old Shali Tilson at the Rockdale County Jail in Georgia. The footage shows officers neglected to conduct the mandated checks every fifteen minutes on Tilson, who had a history of bipolar disorder and schizophrenia and had been placed in solitary […]

Seven Days in Solitary [7/1/19]

• The Advocate reported on the release of a report by Solitary Watch, the ACLU of Louisiana, and the Jesuit Social Research Institute at Loyola University New Orleans, which reflects the survey responses of 709 people in solitary confinement in Louisiana state prisons. Over 77 percent who responded said that they had been held in solitary for […]

Seven Days in Solitary [4/1/19]

• Democracy Now! interviewed Albert Woodfox, who spent over 44 years in solitary confinement in Louisiana after being wrongfully convicted of a prison guard’s murder. Woodfox discussed his recently released memoir Solitary and shared memories of his time incarcerated as a member of the Angola 3, along with Herman Wallace and Robert King, who formed the […]

Seven Days in Solitary [3/4/19]

• According to the Associated Press, the ACLU of New Mexico released a report last week based on prison records obtained under public records law and a survey of incarcerated people. The report disputed the state’s account that they use solitary at a rate of 4 percent, finding that in reality, the state uses solitary at a […]

Behind the Pennsylvania Prison Lockdown: Public Health Crisis or Powerplay?

This article is published in partnership with Truthout. Patricia Marshall Vickers still remembers the week in late August 2018 when she stopped hearing from her son. Incarcerated in Pennsylvania since he was 17 years old, Vickers’s son faithfully called his mother from prison at least every other day—until suddenly, he didn’t. Vickers learned that other family members were […]

Voices from Solitary: Six by Ten

The following accounts have been excerpted from Six by Ten: Stories from Solitary, a recently published collection of thirteen oral history narratives from people impacted by solitary confinement. Part of the Voice of Witness series published by Haymarket Books, the volume was compiled and edited by ACLU attorney and campaign strategist Taylor Pendergrass and multimedia journalist […]

Seven Days in Solitary [1/14/19]

• The Charlotte Observer reported that the new sheriff of North Carolina’s Mecklenburg County, Garry McFadden, has formally closed the disciplinary detention unit at the county jail, which used to hold teenagers in solitary for 23 hours a day and deny them access to phone calls, visitors, books, and classes. McFadden explained his reasoning for […]

Voices from Solitary: I Am Enduring

The following account was published anonymously in the report Solitary at Southport, which was released last December by the Correctional Association of New York, a nonprofit organization that monitors conditions in the state’s prisons and advocates for a more humane and effective criminal justice system. Southport is one of New York’s two supermax prisons, and […]

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 […]