SOLITARY: INSIDE RED ONION STATE PRISON won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Investigative Documentary at the 39th Annual News & Documentary Emmy Awards. Congratulations to the team in making this timely and poignant film, and gratitude to those who courageously shared their truth!

EMMY NOM. V. 3.png

SOLITARY was nominated for TWO Emmy Awards for Outstanding Investigative Documentary and Outstanding Editing: Documentary.

Located on an Appalachian mountaintop in Wise County, Va., Red Onion State Prison is a “supermax” facility built to house individual inmates in 8’x10’ solitary-confinement cells, 23 hours a day, for months, years and sometimes decades. Directed and produced by Kristi Jacobson, SOLITARY: Inside Red Onion State Prison explores life on both sides of the bars, raising provocative questions about punishment in America today.

The film was produced by executive producer, David Menschel; producers, Julie Goldman, Katie Mitchell; editor, Ben Gold; director of photography, Nelson Hume; original music, T. Griffin. For HBO: Senior Producer, Nancy Abraham; Executive Producer, Sheila Nevins.



Learn more about solitary confinement and join the fight with the ACLU of Virginia and Interfaith Action for Human Rights

The penetrating “Solitary” is a sobering account of life (without parole) inside the Red Onion



“Deeply disturbing and moving.”



“Intelligent, thoughtful, and tough documentary filmmaking.”



“Refusing to shy away from harsh truths...SOLITARY offers a complicated portrait of 21st-century crime and punishment.”



“An act of wide-ranging compassion.”


Additional Press

In Solitary, Kristi Jacobson Finds that No Matter the Punishment, Humanity Remains, Paste Magazine, February 2017

A New Prison Documentary On HBO Reveals Life In Solitary ConfinementForbes, February 2017

Documentary Focuses On 'Voicelessness And Helplessness' Of Solitary Confinement, NPR- All Things Considered, February 2017

Documentary examines life inside America's supermax prisons, CBS News,  February 2017

Documentary set in Virginia super-max prison makes HBO premiere on Monday, Richmond Times- Dispatch,  February 2017

 Watch: A New Documentary’s Rare Access Inside SolitaryThe Marshall Project, February 2017 

 A Devastating Look Into Isolation in “Solitary”, Washington Square News, January 2017

HBO's Solitary Confinement Documentary Looks Horrifying, Esquire, January 2017

Tribeca Film Fest: Filmmakers Talk Doc ‘Solitary’- Does Solitary Confinement Ever Make Sense?, Reel Life With Jane, October 2016

What Living in a bathroom-sized room does to your mindThe Independent, August 2016

A Glimpse Into the Lives of Those Forced into Solitary ConfinementThe Innocence Project, July 2016

The AFI DOCS Interview: SOLITARY Director Kristi JacobsonAmerican Film Institute Magazine, June 2016

Film goes inside Virginia super-max, Bristol Herald Courier, May 2016

‘Solitary’ Tribeca Clip: Time-Stopping All-Access Look Inside A Supermax PrisonDeadline, April 2016

'Solitary' Tribeca ReviewThe Hollywood Reporter, April 2016

Film Review: 'Solitary', Variety, April 2016

At Tribeca, Journalistic Docs ShineDocumentary Magazine, April 2016

The Best and Worst Documentaries of the Tribeca Film FestivalFlavorwire, April 2016