New Video: Daughter of Russell Maroon Shoats, Held in Solitary Confinement for Nearly 30 Years

by | February 10, 2012

Theresa Shoats is an activist and the daughter of Russell Maroon Shoats, who was a member of the Black Panther Party and a founding member of the Black Unity Council. He is serving multiple life sentences for the 1970 murder of a Philadelphia area police officer. Now 70 years old, Shoats has spent the last 21 years in continuous solitary confinement at Pennsylvania’s SCI Greene, and he did several earlier terms in solitary as well–for a total of close to 30 years in all.

More information can be found on the blog maintained by Teresa Shoats at Solitary Watch reporter and videographer Valeria Monfrini talked with Teresa Shoats last fall.


James Ridgeway and Jean Casella

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.

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  • Lisa

    Teresa,my heart and prayers go out to you, your family and your dad. I know this has been very hard, trying and stressful for all of you but keep on keeping on. May God give you all strength to continue your fight for your dad. Peace & Blessings

  • froggy57

    The police are vindictive beyond belief

  • Justice is not up or down left or right is is a action of completion.This is regulated not by time spent but an equalness given.Let my brother go home.

  • Alan CYA # 65085

    From my reading of Maroon’s interview conducted on his blog (see link above) the man has valuable insight that could moderate the extreme views held by many of the youth in prison today without compromising his or their principles. He says as much in the interview.

    Therefore besides the humanitarian aspect it seems his release from solitary could be a moderating force in the General Population of the prison that he is held in.

    • And that is exactly why they are resistant to the condition of placing him in population,we may see an excellent opportunity to have a multitude of minds healthily effected and lives saved also. yet even i can recognize The Power. And thats their fear,not to mention the fact that …The System is in the business of WAREHOUSING….NOT REHABILITATION. personally i will be looking for any publications the brother may write.we can all become outlets for the vast knowlegde this brother has by communicating with him.

  • My God, i was just a boy when this brother took me under his wing. somewhere in the middle 70’s i was locked down @Huntingdon, Somethings occurred that would make for a very memorable experience. it was there i learned just how afraid so many could become so Afraid of one. i am 59 yyrs. of age now. i will reach out to Maroon,though he will not remember me. i will reach out,i have not been inside those walls ;going on 30 years.#1042,#2326#2993#7307 There is not much that came with each of those numbers that i’ve forgotten. that was last time i would see Maroon. yes!!i shall reach out to him.

  • Hafidha Saadiqah

    Mercy! Praying that one day this year he will be released. Soon. Peace, blessings, and strength to you and your family.

  • TracieTX

    How can anyone not be outraged by such inhuman treatment.

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