Solitary Confinement

Second Senate Hearings on Solitary Confinement: Possible impact and failure

Second Senate Hearings on Solitary Confinement: Possible impact and failure

Hearing on Reassessing Solitary Confinement II: The Human Rights, Fiscal and Public

Along with 129 other organizations AFSC submitted a statement on conditions in solitary confinement in US prisons before the United States Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights. This was the second hearing on solitary confinement and had excellent attendance from families, ex-prisoners and organizations seeking to abolish or restrict the use of solitary.

AFSC statement for Judiciary Hearings on Solitary Confinement

On Feb. 25, 2014, U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-ILL) chaired a hearing addressing the use of solitary confinement. This followed the first-ever congressional hearing on isolation, initiated by Sen. Durbin and held in June 2012, to examine the consequences of isolation in U.S. prisons. At that time, AFSC submitted a statement, based on our decades-long efforts challenging long-term solitary confinement.

Race and the politics of isolation in U.S. Prisons

Tracing the historic development of isolation in the U.S. and its strategic use against poor and oppressed people of color and individuals who are seen as political threats, this article is based on documentary evidence from more than 30 years of interviews and letters from currently and formerly incarcerated people.

Solidarity in Solitary Confinement

Monday, November 11, 2013 - 7:00pm - 8:30pm

Jules Lobel, Pitt Law Professor and Center for Constitutional Rights lawyer for Pelican Bay prisoners, will relate the inspiring story of inmates overcoming gang violence and racism as they fight for their human rights. Their struggle has included a hunger strike against California’s arbitrary system of solitary confinement, which frequently locks down prisoners in isolation for decades.

Tell California officials to resume meetings with prisoners

On Aug. 19, 2013, California prison officials won a court order saying they could force-feed dozens of inmates who have been on a hunger strike for six weeks over solitary confinement conditions. This order will not end the strike, or prevent other nonviolent demonstrations.

Racial violence and the California hunger strike: A perspective from the inside

Editor's note: The California prisoners suspended the hunger strike on Sept. 5, 2013. Please visit for the latest information.

Solitary Confinement: Torture in Our Prisons

On Saturday June 22nd over 61 people, many from faith communities, gathered at East Liberty Presbyterian Church to learn more about solitary confinement in our prisons. The event was organized by the American Friends Service Committee PA (AFSC) and members of East Liberty Presbyterian Church and Community House Presbyterian Church.  

Blog: Reflections on the Lake and the Problem of Prison

Natalie Holbrook

Natalie Holbrook

Natalie Holbrook directs AFSC's Criminal Justice Program in Michigan.

Author Natalie Holbrook directs AFSC’s Criminal Justice Program in Michigan. Peter Martel is an AFSC Program Associate.

Reflections on the Lake

Natalie Holbrook

Natalie Holbrook

Natalie Holbrook directs AFSC's Criminal Justice Program in Michigan.

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AFSC is a Quaker organization devoted to service, development, and peace programs throughout the world. Our work is based on the belief in the worth of every person, and faith in the power of love to overcome violence and injustice. Learn more

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AFSC has offices around the world. To see a complete list see the Where We Work page.

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