Prisoners recount suicide attempts, mental harm and lack of services in solitary confinement; former Waupun psychologist describes harsh treatment of inmates.
When he returned from a medical leave in early 2016, psychologist Bradley Boivin discovered a troubling pattern among Waupun Correctional Institution inmates who had been held in solitary confinement. Thirteen of his patients’ mental health classifications had been changed without Boivin’s knowledge — and in his opinion, without proper assessment.
LaRon McKinley, who spent 28 years in administrative confinement, says the state needs to return to rehabilitation and end long-term solitary confinement
About a dozen Wisconsin prisoners plan to launch a hunger strike beginning next week aimed at ending a form of indefinite solitary confinement that officials use to keep order in the institutions, according to an inmate advocacy group.
Waupun Correctional inmates were not notified for months that Wisconsin had dramatically cut maximum stints in solitary confinement, leading some to agree to longer-than-maximum sentences.
Wisconsin has made a “culture shift” in its use of solitary confinement in prisons, eliminating it as punishment for minor rule infractions and cutting the time inmates spend in isolation for more serious offenses, Department of Corrections officials revealed in an interview granted as part of a legal settlement with the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism.
President Barack Obama called for reduction of solitary confinement during a July 14 address to the NAACP National Convention in Philadelphia: “I’ve asked my Attorney General to start a review of the overuse of solitary confinement across American prisons. “The social science shows that an environment like that is often more likely to make inmates […]
In a Jan. 7 column for Politico Magazine, billionaire Charles Koch said the United States is paying a “heavy price” for leading the world in incarceration, driving a large number of people into poverty and harming the national economy. “Reversing overcriminalization and mass incarceration will improve societal well-being in many respects, most notably by decreasing […]
Former inmate Talib Akbar says years spent in segregation in the Wisconsin prison system took a toll on his mind. Akbar now lives alone in a small RV that he parks around Madison while volunteering for Wisdom, a statewide faith-based group that campaigns against solitary confinement. The drawing Akbar made while confined in a cell […]
Craig Haney is a University of California-Santa Cruz psychologist who for more than two decades has studied the effects of solitary confinement on inmates. During a 2013 interview for PBS’ Frontline program, Haney described what happens to people held under such deprivation. “Some prisoners react very negatively very quickly. They experience what has been termed […]
The Center alleges that the Wisconsin Department of Corrections failed to respond to two records requests regarding the Center’s ongoing investigation into inmate treatment and discipline.
A state prison official called the new rules, scheduled to take effect Jan. 1, “an excellent opportunity to focus on making positive changes” to the state’s use of solitary confinement.