AFSC Seeks Stories of Isolation and Torture in U.S. Prisons

by | April 4, 2010

In 2001, the Prison Watch Project of the American Friends Service Committee published Torture in U.S. Prisons: Evidence of U.S. Human Rights Violations, a unique collection of first-hand testimonies from prisoners. (A pdf copyof is available here.)  Now, Prison Project coordinator Bonnie Kerness has put out a call for submissions for a new edition.

AFSC, through its STOPMAX Campaign, has resolutely identified prolonged solitary confinement as a form of torture and a violation of human rights, so material from current or former prisoners who have experienced solitary will be most welcome. The announcement is reproduced in full below–please help spread the word. 

The American Friends Service Committee Prison Watch Project is planning to update the Fall 2001 “Torture in US Prisons – Evidence of US Human Rights Violations.” We are seeking testimonies from men, women and children relating to the use of extended isolation and devices of torture (use of force, chemical and physical restraints, other living conditions, forced double celling in isolation, etc.). We will also be accepting drawings and photos.

Our deadline is June 15th. We will only be able to acknowledge by form letter. Unless otherwise authorized the publication will use first name, last initial and facility only. Please send to Bonnie Kerness, AFSC, 89 Market St., 6th floor, Newark, NJ 07102.

Please make this message available to people concerned with the prison system and send it to friends and loved ones in prison. Without your input, this publication would not be possible. Our gratitude.

Sincerely,
AFSC Prison Watch Project

Jean Casella and James Ridgeway

James Ridgeway (1936-2021) was the founder and co-director of Solitary Watch. An investigative journalist for over 60 years, he served as Washington Correspondent for the Village Voice and Mother Jones, reporting domestically on subjects ranging from electoral politics to corporate malfeasance to the rise of the racist far-right, and abroad from Central America, Northern Ireland, Eastern Europe, Haiti, and the former Yugoslavia. Earlier, he wrote for The New Republic and Ramparts, and his work appeared in dozens of other publications. He was the co-director of two films and author of 20 books, including a forthcoming posthumous edition of his groundbreaking 1991 work on the far right, Blood in the Face. Jean Casella is the director of Solitary Watch. She has also published work in The Guardian, The Nation, and Mother Jones, and is co-editor of the book Hell Is a Very Small Place: Voices from Solitary Confinement. She has received a Soros Justice Media Fellowship and an Alicia Patterson Fellowship. She tweets @solitarywatch.

Help Expose the Hidden World of Solitary Confinement

Accurate information and authentic storytelling can serve as powerful antidotes to ignorance and injustice. We have helped generate public awareness, mainstream media attention, and informed policymaking on what was once an invisible domestic human rights crisis.

Only with your support can we continue this groundbreaking work, shining light into the darkest corners of the U.S. criminal punishment system.

Donate

COMMENTS POLICY

Solitary Watch encourages comments and welcomes a range of ideas, opinions, debates, and respectful disagreement. We do not allow name-calling, bullying, cursing, or personal attacks of any kind. Any embedded links should be to information relevant to the conversation. Comments that violate these guidelines will be removed, and repeat offenders will be blocked. Thank you for your cooperation.

2 comments

  • James B. Robertson

    I am a long time supporter of AFSC (currently $85 per month auto) and a through reader of Prison Legal News. I, thus, saw your ad on page eleven of the May issue of PLN. Because of their recent move, PLN is coming out late. The May issue just arrived last week. Thus you may not get as many replies to your June 15 deadline announce in the ad.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.