Solitary Confinement

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Report: Solitary confinement in NJ immigration detention centers overused

 An investigation of the use of solitary confinement in New Jersey’s immigration detention centers finds an unnecessarily harsh and unfair system that violates state and international standards. The report “23 Hours in the Box, Solitary Confinement in New Jersey Immigration Detention” is released by New Jersey Advocates for Immigrant Detainees*, a coalition of community-based groups that support immigration and detention reform, and NYU School of Law Immigrant Rights Clinic.  

National Day of Action To End Torture: 5 resources to educate and take action

Five resources to learn more about torture in the US and how you can help end these human rights abuses.

Second Senate Hearings on Solitary Confinement: Possible impact and failure

The second hearing on solitary confinement by the Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights of the Senate Judiciary Committee were important in helping to highlighting the issue of solitary and the very fact that they are happening is a reflection of the growing awareness of the issue in our society. However, there is a real danger in focusing on just certain vulnerable parts of the prison population and not recognize that holding any person in prolonged isolation is a form of torture.

AFSC gives testimony on solitary confinement at U.S. Judiciary hearing

AFSC speaks out against solitary confinement in front of the United States Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights.


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.

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

Sitwa Nantambu Jamaa CA Prisons Hunger Strike

Sitawa Nantambu Jamaa, in pictures taken in 2012 and 1988.  Photo: Adithya Sambamurthy

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.

AFSC's Natalie Holbrook reflects on the injustices of the mass incarceration in the United States.

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