North Carolina: Solitary Confinement of Prisoners with Mental Illness

Under Fire for Negligence, North Carolina Prisons Chief Seeks New Funding for Mental Health Treatment

December 15, 2014 | by Lisa Dawson North Carolina corrections chief David Guice wants more than $20 million to improve the treatment of people with mental illness in the state’s prisons. His request comes on the heels of two recent reports showing neglect and abuse of prisoners with psychiatric disabilities in North Carolina, and the…

Automatic Solitary Confinement for Prisoners Held on Virginia’s Death Row

Virginia’s practice of automatically holding people held on Virginia death row in solitary confinement will be reviewed by a federal appeals court. Experts claim that the case could have an impact beyond just the state of Virginia. The Daily Press opens its story on the subject with the controversial question: “Should prisoners in Virginia sentenced to…

Pope Francis Denounces Solitary Confinement, Calls for Prison Conditions That “Respect Human Dignity”

Pope Francis Denounces Solitary Confinement, Calls for Prison Conditions That “Respect Human Dignity”

In a wide-ranging speech on Thursday, Pope Francis revealed himself as a passionate criminal justice reformer. His words also suggest that he is familiar with the controversies surrounding solitary confinement and supermax prisons, and strongly opposes their use. Speaking at the Vatican to representatives of the International Association of Penal Law, the Pope said: “All Christians and people…

A Beginning Resource Packet for California Prisoners’ Advocates

This resource packet for California prisoners’ advocates (researched and edited by members of the Pledge of Resistance and Human Rights Pen Pal Programs, projects of the Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity Coalition) comes from the website of Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity. According to PHSS: This packet is intended to be a resource to help folks involved in…

Solitary Confinement Bill Passes Public Safety Committee, Could Mark End of Torturous Practice

The following comes from a recent email alert from Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity Coalition: Oakland—A bill designed to bring about reforms to the California’s internationally condemned use of indefinite solitary confinement, passed its first hurdle yesterday by a 4 to 2 vote (with one abstention) in the State Assembly’s Public Safety Committee. Assembly Member Tom…

Action Alert: Stop retaliation in the Corcoran SHU

Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity (PHSS) and Californians United for a Responsible Budget (CURB) are calling for solidarity activists to call and email California State Prison, Corcoran (Corcoran Prison) and California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) authorities to demand the end to destructive and retaliatory cell searches. View the Emergency Response Alert by CURB here.

Prison cell window

Senate Judiciary Committee to Hold Second Hearing on Solitary Confinement

The following comes from an email I recently received an email regarding the Senate Judiciary Committee’s second hearing concerning the use of solitary confinement in U.S. prisons and jails, “Reassessing Solitary Confinement II: The Human Rights, Fiscal, and Public Safety Consequences.” (Information regarding the last hearing can be found here and here.) The hearing, to be chaired by Sen. Dick…

Action Alert: Protest disciplinary actions against California prison hunger strikers

On July 8, 2013, more than 30,000 California prisoners initiated a peaceful hunger strike in protest of the torture of long-term solitary confinement and inhumane living conditions to which they are subjected inside security housing units (SHU) throughout the state. Sixty days – and one death – later, prisoners suspended the strike. The Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity coalition has issued the following…

US Judge Approves Force-Feeding California Prisoners on Hunger Strike

A US Judge approved today a request by California and federal officials to force-feed prisoners participating in the statewide hunger strike (view the legal filing here). The following comes from the Associated Press: SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — A federal judge approved a request from California and federal officials on Monday to force-feed inmates if necessary as…

New ACLU report on the solitary confinement of mentally ill prisoners in Colorado

A new report by the ACLU of Colorado finds that the Colorado Department of Corrections (CDOC) continues to depend on long-term solitary confinement to manage prisoners suffering from mental illness. According to the ACLU, Out of Sight, Out of Mind draws on 18 months of research, including interviews with prisoners, analysis of CDOC data, site visits, and review of prisoner…

California Prison Hunger Strike Enters Day Twelve

The following update on the California prison hunger strike comes from BohoBlog: It’s being called the largest hunger strike in California State history. As of Thursday, July 18, 1,457 inmates in fifteen state prisons continue to refuse food, according to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. The hunger strike began on July 8 at Pelican Bay…

Action Alert: California Prison Hunger Strike

The following action alert comes from Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity: Greetings to all Pledge signers, Thank you for your support of the hunger strikers. As you may have heard, the hunger strike began in California on July 8 with 30,000 imprisoned people refusing to eat. Hundreds of media outlets have been covering this historic event.…

Action Alert: Support California Prison Hunger Strikers

The The Stop Mass Incarceration Network is calling for a day of support for the California prison hunger strikers on Friday, July 19. Details follow. Stop Prison Torture! Tens of thousands people held in horrible conditions in U.S. prisons have gone on hunger strike to say NO MORE to torture.  These prisoners have put their health and lives…

NCTT COR-SHU on California SHU Units & CDCR’s STG Step Down Program

The following discussion on the CDCR’s Security Threat Group (STG) Step Down Program for California SHU units comes from the Spring 2013 newsletter of Prisons.org. Creating broken men, Part 2: A discussion on CDCR’s new brainwashing mandate for SHU torture units by Zaharibu Dorrough, J. Heshima Denham, Kambui Robinson and Jabari Scott, NCTT Corcoran SHU “I…

The Reality of Solitary Confinement in the US

The following infographic compares life in solitary confinement in US prisons (using Pelican Bay as a reference) to solitary in an Iranian prison., examining factors that  impact a prisoner’s quality of life, including phone call privileges, ease of communication with neighboring cells, privacy and mattress quality. According to the infographic, an alarming 39% of suicides at Pelican…

Records Show Excessive Use of Force at Colorado Supermax

June 15, 2013 | By Lisa Dawson for Solitary Watch Records kept by the Colorado Department of Corrections show 61 instances from March 1, 2012 to March 1 of this year of corrections officers using force on men held at the Colorado State Penitentiary (CSP), where prisoners are held in administrative segregation on lockdown for 23 hours a day. The…

Pepper spray and restraint chairs: “Use of force” at Colorado’s supermax

June 12, 2013 | By Alan Prendergast | Denver Westword Blogs The year began with Manuel Rodriguez being strapped into a restraint chair. It ended with Rodriguez back in the chair. At Colorado’s state supermax prison, inmates get into confrontations with guards — over food, hygiene, privileges, a refusal to “cuff up” or whatever — out…

ACTION ALERT: William Van Poyck: Sentenced under false pretenses, yet scheduled to be executed in MINUTES

Sentenced under false pretenses, William Van Poyck has spent the last 26 years held in solitary on Florida’s death row for a murder he did not commit. Poyck is scheduled to be executed in minutes.  SHOW YOUR SUPPORT: TAKE ACTION! 1) Contact Florida Governor Rick Scott and tell him what you think. (850) 488-7146 (Email: Rick.Scott@eog.myflorida.com) 2) Sign the petition…

News Roundup: Seven Days in Solitary (6/9/13)

June 9, 2013 | Lisa Dawson for Solitary Watch The following roundup features noteworthy news, reports and opinions on solitary confinement from the past week. •  According to the tally kept by The Miami Herald, 104 of the 166 men held captive at Guantanamo are now on hunger strike, with 41 being force-fed and four hospitalized. The Miami Herald also reports that the U.S. Southern…

Federal Lawsuit Challenges Guard Brutality in Solitary Confinement Unit at North Carolina Prison

April 18, 2013 | Lisa Dawson for Solitary Watch Lawyers at North Carolina Prisoner Legal Services have filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of eight people held in solitary confinement at Central Prison against officers and administrators at the facility. As reported by the Associated Press: A federal lawsuit on behalf of eight inmates at North Carolina’s Central Prison alleges correctional officers used…