Seven Days in Solitary [11/10/21]

• Testimony from Black and Pink Massachusetts (MA) explains the need for a bill pending in the state legislature that increases safety for LGBTQI people and people living with HIV who are incarcerated in Massachusetts. LGBTQ people are disproportionately subjected to solitary confinement, and the Rehabilitation Including Guaranteed Health, Treatment and Safety (RIGHTS) Act would, among […]

Seven Days in Solitary [10/13/21]

• A Kaiser Health News report co-published with NPR details the trauma that survivors of solitary confinement carry with them years after their imprisonment. Pamela Winn, founder of nonprofit RestoreHER, which fights against mass-incarceration, describes her lasting mental health effects from spending eight months in solitary confinement. Her time in solitary continues to make it difficult […]

Seven Days in Solitary [9/1/21]

• The New York Times reports that federal officials announced the temporary closure of the Metropolitan Correctional Center (MCC), a federal jail in Lower Manhattan. They have described it as part of an effort to improve conditions at the jail, which have been dangerous for years, but only received widespread attention in 2019 after the suicide […]

Seven Days in Solitary [1/25/21]

• The Richmond Times-Dispatch reported that the ACLU of Virginia reached a settlement with the Virginia Department of Corrections in a lawsuit filed on behalf of Nicolas Reyes. Reyes, an incarcerated man with mental illness, “allegedly was held in solitary confinement for more than a dozen years” because he does not speak English. Per the […]

Immigrant Detainees Went on Hunger Strike Against Intolerable Conditions and COVID Exposure. ICE Punished Them with Solitary Confinement.

This exposé of abusive practices at the ICE Processing Center in Tacoma, Washington, was written by Renée Feltz, who received a grant from the Solitary Confinement Reporting Project, administered by Solitary Watch with funding from the Vital Projects Fund. Feltz is the Co-Director of Democracy Now! News and an award-winning investigative journalist who has covered criminal justice and […]

Fourteen Days in Solitary [12/21/20]

• The New Orleans Lens reported that the non-profit Promise of Justice Initiative (PJI) released a report, claiming that prison administrators and staff responded inadequately to the coronavirus pandemic, causing unnecessary death and suffering. The report found, “Principally, correctional officials [in Louisiana] responded to COVID- 19 or exposure to the virus by placing people in solitary confinement or putting portions […]

Seven Days in Solitary [12/7/20]

• The Intercept reported that a group of immigrants held at the Etowah County Detention Center in Gadsen, Alabama banded together in July, all demanding coronavirus tests. But instead of providing testing, prison officials locked down the unit and transferred ten of the most vocal people to solitary confinement. One immigrant, Sebastian Abalo Cunna, wrote, […]

Seven Days in Solitary [11/30/20]

• The Arizona State Law Journal published an article written by law professor Laura Rovner and assistant professor Nicole Godfrey, entitled, “COVID-19 in American Prisons: Solitary Confinement is Not the Solution.” By mid-November, at least 182,593 incarcerated people in the U.S. have tested positive for the coronavirus and 1,412 incarcerated people have died. The article […]

Seven Days in Solitary [11/9/20]

• The ABA Journal reported that the U.S. Supreme Court ruled last week that six prison officials at the John T. Montford Psychiatric Facility in Lubbock, Texas are not entitled to qualified immunity from the lawsuit filed against them by incarcerated man Trent Taylor. The lawsuit claims that Taylor spent six days alone in cells […]

Seven Days in Solitary [11/2/20]

• The Philadelphia Inquirer reported that a circuit court recently ruled that the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections (PADOC) violated the 8th Amendment rights of Ernest Porter by holding him in solitary confinement for 33 years on death row. Porter’s death sentence was vacated in 2003, but the PADOC continued to hold him on death row. After the […]

Digging Our Way Out of the Hole: Keeping Prisons Safe Without Solitary Confinement

By Jeremiah Bourgeois During his 27 years incarcerated in Washington State prisons, Jeremiah Bourgeois published several articles covering prison life and criminal justice reform, as a regular contributor to the Crime Report. For nearly a decade of his life, he was isolated in solitary confinement. Bourgeois was originally sentenced to life in prison for a crime he committed at the age of […]