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Taking a Closer Look: Nevada

The Ely State Prison

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Solitary Confinement

Men on death row are in their cells for 22-24 hours a day in both the "A" and "B" wing. However, because the "B" wing is where ad-seg is, it is more restrictive in terms of less phone and yard time, no art supplies, etc.   

Time in Cell

Even in ideal conditions, the men are in their cells for 22 hours a day. They are let out for one hour of tier time and one hour of yard time. However, that is not always the case due to lockdowns.


Visitations are up to 3 hours on Monday and Tuesday in an open room where each prisoner gets a table. Those in protective custody or in the infirmary conduct visitations behind glass. 

Educational Programs

The men can enroll in correspondence classes, paid for by themselves. All classes are completed through written correspondence as they do not have access to the internet beyond downloading emails, games, and songs through a kiosk.


In ideal conditions, the men get 1 hour of yard time a day which takes place in a designated outside area. Activities available include handball. 


Prisoners can be a cleaner (only 3 at a time) or a law clerk although there hasn't been one in years. There is also one designated barber.


Prisoners cannot attend religious services with others. They are allowed only cable TVs in their cells. They can purchase art supplies from a limited catalogue and can receive books that are not true crime, romance, or supremacist in nature.


Death row does not have its own medical unit and inmates are seen by physician assistants rather than MDs. The men are charged $8 co-pays to see a doctor, which can take months. There are monthly mental health checks.


Men on death row are generally served three meals a day. Portions are small. The men must purchase basic supplies through a package program once a month. However, it can take up to one month for the package to arrive.


Phone calls are capped at 15 minutes. The number of calls per month depends on the prisoner's unit and number of phones in circulation. Tablets are available but songs, games, and to receive emails cost extra.

Attorney Visits

In person attorney visits take place in the same room as personal visits. Attorneys request to visit in advance.  However, the time it takes to travel to death row (approx. 8 hours round trip) places restrictions on frequency of visits. Scheduled phone calls are done in a room by themselves.

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