Reporters generally do a lousy job of analyzing the incarceration rate in the United States -- which, despite recent sentencing reforms, remains the highest in the world, with more citizens per capita behind bars than in Cuba, Rwanda or Russia. That's why a recent report by the Prison Policy Initiat ... More >>
Alan Prendergast's update on the story of murderer Thomas Silverstein, who's been held in solitary confinement for more than a quarter-century, examines the issue of whether conditions at Colorado's supermax facility are "extreme." A reader with expertise in the field responded with a look at balanc ... More >>
Federal judges in Denver are of two minds about the kind of punishment doled out at the supermax penitentiary in Florence. While one is allowing a Tanzanian terrorist's complaint about the prison's restrictions on his mail and visitors to proceed to trial, another has thrown out Thomas Silverstein's ... More >>
Matt MalloryComplaints of substandard health care in the Colorado prison system are nothing new, but a newly filed lawsuit by one inmate, alleging that he was neglected in his cell while vomiting blood for three days, makes for particularly interesting reading. For one thing, Matt Mallory's ... More >>
Colorado's supermax is so much fun the state is opening a second one. The release of a twelve-month study about the mental effects of solitary confinement at Colorado's supermax is still weeks away. But preliminary results leaked from the report -- which suggest state prisoners suffer little ... More >>
Thomas Silverstein at Atlanta's penitentiary (inset) in the 1980s and at ADX in 2007.When you've spent your time since the early days of the Reagan years in a cell smaller than some people's closets, progress tends to get measured in small, small increments rather than sweeping events. But T ... More >>
What goes on beyond the fence? Solitary Watch wants to know.Get in serious trouble, go to prison. Get into some bad shit inside prison -- attacking staff, running heroin, or maybe somebody doesn't like your gang tattoo -- and you go to the hole, also known as solitary confinement or (in priso ... More >>
Last week, a bill to end the death penalty in Colorado squeaked through the House of Representatives by one vote; it reaches a Senate committee on Wednesday afternoon, April 29. The abolitionists maintain that execution is too costly and time-consuming and that the money could be better spent fund ... More >>
The Bureau of Prisons is as good at keeping prisoners in as it is at keeping reporters out.
Is Thomas Silverstein a prisoner of his own deadly past — or the first in a new wave of locked-down lifers?