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Still Buried Alive: Arizona Prisoner Testimonies on Isolation in Maximum Security

Still Buried Alive: Arizona Prisoner Testimonies on Isolation in Maximum Security

Published: December 9, 2014
Buried alive prisoner artwork
Photo: AFSC

AFSC’s Arizona office has released a critical follow-up report to Buried Alive (2007) and Lifetime Lockdown (2012) on solitary confinement in Arizona prisons. 

This new report, Still Buried Alive: Arizona Prisoner Testimonies on Isolation in Maximum Security (2014), highlights the voices of maximum-security prisoners and catalogues their testimonies describing those experiences. It was released on the same day that the Arizona Department of Corrections (ADC) opened 500 newly constructed maximum-security prison beds in ASPC Lewis in Buckeye, Arizona.

No one knows what life is like in solitary confinement better than those men and women who have endured years in isolation conditions. And as ADC Director Ryan and Gov. Jan Brewer have decided to double down on their commitment to long-term prisoner isolation with these 500 new max beds, AFSC decided to ask the men and women who have already been in similar conditions what they thought. Still Buried Alive is the product of their poignant and powerful answers.

Forty-one prisoners responded to AFSC's call for testimony, with a combined total of more than 367 years in solitary confinement. Their responses are poignant as they are chilling, and offer a clear roadmap toward decreased in-cell time for maximum-security prisoners. ADC Director Ryan and Gov. Brewer need to heed their call.