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 […]

Seven Days in Solitary [9/14/20]

• The Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) reported that plaintiffs in the 2015 landmark settlement of the class action lawsuit Ashker v. Governor of California filed a petition for the full Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to review a decision by a three-judge panel, which reversed a lower court in ruling that the California Department of […]

Voices from Solitary: Fighting the Coronavirus in Prison with Transfers, Isolation, Threats, and Game Boys

The following piece is written by Christopher Blackwell, a 39-year-old man incarcerated at Washington State Reformatory in the Monroe Correctional Complex (MCC), serving the last 23 years of a 45-year sentence. Blackwell was first incarcerated at the age of 11 and by the time he was 18-years-old, he faced 16 charges. Since then, he has […]

Fourteen Days in Solitary [8/24/20]

• The Los Angeles Times published a piece on the work of 60-year-old Dolores Canales, who co-founded California Families Against Solitary Confinement in 2011. Canales is also a member of the Steering Committee of the Unlock the Box campaign, a group that has worked closely with Solitary Watch. Canales’ son is currently incarcerated at Theo Lacy […]

Seven Days in Solitary [7/27/20]

• The Appeal published an article written by Victoria Law about the continued use of solitary confinement across New York State prisons, despite support in both houses of the state legislature for the passage of the Humane Alternatives to Long-Term (HALT) Solitary Confinement Act, which would cap the maximum stay in solitary at fifteen days. […]

Fourteen Days in Solitary [7/6/20]

• NPR’s Joseph Shapiro produced a piece that ran on “All Things Considered” about the use of lockdowns and solitary confinement around the country in response to the coronavirus pandemic. The piece focused on a recent report from the national Unlock the Box campaign, which is based on research and analysis by Solitary Watch, and found that […]

Seven Days in Solitary [6/15/20]

• According to the Richmond Times-Dispatch, solitary confinement remains the only housing option for many incarcerated transgender people, unless they choose to stay in a general population of the opposite gender. Kamiah Kahanel, a transgender woman held in the male Nottoway Correctional Center in Virginia, was attacked by an incarcerated man, who cut her face and […]

Voices from Solitary: Coronavirus Panic in a Quarantined Washington State Prison

John Hovey, a 52-year-old man serving three consecutive life sentences at Monroe Correctional Complex in Washington State, wrote the following piece in March 2020. Hovey has been incarcerated since the age of sixteen. In this piece, he describes the process of increased restrictions upon incarcerated people, including lockdowns for units that may have been exposed to […]