Mayor Bill de Blasio and DOC Commissioner Joe Ponte present plan for violence at Rikers (Rob Bennett/Mayoral Photography Office)
15 Nov 2015

Podcast: Rikers Island Reforms Solitary Confinement with Pre-Crime and New Isolation Units

There has been a push by activists, advocacy organizations, and concerned citizens in New York to reform solitary confinement. Yet, at Rikers Island prison, the city recently adopted a “rehabilitative” reform, which developed a new system of solitary confinement for inmates in order to accomplish solitary confinement reforms. Independent journalist Raven

Activists holding a "Campaign To Shut Down Rikers" banner are escorted out of a recent DOC meeting where officials asked to delay changes to solitary confinement. (Screenshot from Twitter video by @ShutDownRikers)
11 Nov 2015

New York City Postpones Elimination Of Solitary Confinement For Young Adults

New York City’s Board of Correction voted on Tuesday to delay the elimination of solitary confinement for young adults until the end of February 2016.

Albert Woodfox (
11 Nov 2015

Dissenting Against Another Unjust Retrial Of Albert Woodfox By State Of Louisiana

Although a court just ruled that Albert Woodfox could be retried, Judge James L. Dennis objected to the years of torture the state has put Woodfox through.

Suleiman Abdullah Salim | Photo from ACLU
13 Oct 2015

CIA Torture Architects Sued by Former Detainees for Water Dousing & Other Methods

The ACLU sued two psychologists contracted by the CIA to develop, implement, and personally administer an experimental torture program in the War on Terror.

File: A statue of "blind justice" holds a pair of scales, on the exterior of the Albert V Bryan Federal District Courthouse in Alexandria, Virginia.
05 Oct 2015

Long-Awaited Criminal Justice Reform Introduced In Senate

A bipartisan criminal justice reform bill introduced in the Senate last week includes changes to mandatory minimum sentences for low level drug offenses.

Protesters hold a banner that reads "END Long-Term Solitary Confinement." (AFSC)
22 Sep 2015

Buried Alive: Solitary Confinement In U.S. Prisons (VIDEO)

American Friends Service Network: At any given time, there are more than 80,000 people in solitary confinement in prisons across the United States—locked up in closed cells for at least 23 hours every day and deprived of human contact for months, years, even decades.

Vernon C. Bain Correctional Barge, a floating jail that houses about 800 inmates as part of New York City's RIkers Island complex, photographed on September 4, 2006. (Flickr / reivax)
22 Sep 2015

New York City Council Adopts Eight Bills For Transparency, Oversight Of Jails

Last week, the New York City Council sent eight bills to Mayor Bill DeBlasio’s desk aimed at bringing greater transparency to the city’s jails. The wave of legislation was introduced this past spring and its passage marks the latest efforts by the city to reign in the brutal culture of violence and impunity that has reigned inside its jails for years.

Photo from Vera Institute of Justice report on alternatives to solitary confinement
02 Sep 2015

California Agrees To Restrict Use of Long-Term Solitary Confinement

California has agreed to restrict the use of long-term solitary confinement in a settlement agreement filed in federal court this week. Restrictions are expected to reduce the number of inmates in isolation, cap the number of continuous years an inmate can spend in solitary confinement to five, and establish measures by which inmates can more easily achieve release back to general population.

File: A rainbow Pride flag blows in the wind. (Flickr / torbakhopper)
25 Aug 2015

Chicago LGBTQ Inmates Speak Out Against Solitary Confinement, Homophobia

LGBTQ prison abolition group Black & Pink began publishing letters from inmates in solitary confinement last month in an effort to shed light on the abuse and harassment they suffer. Black & Pink explained that last summer, their Chicago chapter contacted to over 100 inmates in isolation to ask for their experiences.

Veronika Abu Sisi (left), whose husband, Palestinian political prisoner Dirar Abu Sisi, is held in solitary confinement by Israel, holds a picture of him as she speaks to supporters outside the couple's Gaza City apartment on August 26, 2013. (Flickr / Joe Catron)
17 Aug 2015

Kidnapped Abroad And Solitary Confinement: This Is What Due Process Looks Like For A Palestinian In Israel

Last month, an Israeli judicial panel sentenced Dirar Abu Sisi, a 46-year-old civil engineer, to 21 years in prison for aiding Hamas’ rocket program. This plea deal capped a four-year ordeal that began with Abu Sisi’s unprecedented kidnapping on a train bound for Kiev in the dead of a Ukrainian winter in February 2011.