Voices from Solitary: From a Nevada Hole

by | June 16, 2012

David Casper is serving a long sentence for armed robbery at Nevada’s Ely State Prison. He has made two unsuccessful escape attempts, which earned him a place in solitary confinement. According to his blog, maintained by friends on the outside, “I have actually been in Solitary Confinement for this last six years (since 2007) but up till October 28th, 2010, I was in a normal Housing Unit in a cell where I could communicate with other prisoners who were also in Solitary Confinement. Plus I had my radio and T.V. But now, since October 28th, 2010, I have been stuck in an Isolation cell at the end of a hallway in the back of the Infirmary.” Casper is allowed no personal possessions. In order to write the following note to Solitary Watch, he had to persuade a CO to loan him a pencil and a small piece of paper for a few minutes.  –James Ridgeway

[They] put me in this cell [in the infirmary] where I have been locked away, and it seems they have thrown away the key. I have no shoes of any kind. No clothes except a pair of underwear and a T shirt. I have a blanket and a mattress. That’s it. They won’t even let me keep a toothbrush and toothpaste in my cell. I have to use it and give it right back to the guard. There is no window to the outside. And they painted everything in this cell Orange…It’s like I live in an orange box. It seems like I am stuck in some weird room in the Willy Wonka factory.

They posted a “No Communication’’ notice on the outside of my door. The regular COs are not allowed to talk to me or even come into the vestibule outside my cell. When they feed me a sergeant or lieutenant has to be present. And they feed me using this box that they put my food in, then they lock it. Then open the inside part, sliding it open so I can reach in and pick up my tray. They treat me like Hannibal Lector and I’ve never once acted aggressive towards any staff.

A small selection of Casper’s poetry–including the following, titled “Hatchet Man”–appears on his blog. 

An introvert by nature, solitude you were once my friend.
But now they’ve turned you against me, oh you misery with no end.
My new found enemy, it’s you I wish to shake.
I’m afraid you’re now employed by the ones who wish to take.
What will it be next? You thief inside my head.
Stocking my serenity and replacing it with dread.
Haven’t they taken enough, they’ve taken all I had.
Now they send you, Hatchet Man, to take until I’m mad.
Maybe it’s my confidence or maybe it’s my will.
I feel you in there hunting, hunting for a kill.
You go on and hunt, give it your best shot.
If you think it will be easy, I assure you it will not.
Even if you team with time and force this to end.
For you, my will, I will not break. And for them I will not bend.


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  • Stacie

    I knew David as a teenager. I was a girlfriend for some time. He has the ability to love and be kind and generous. I agree that he has done some terrible things and should be punished…it’s all about choices and being held accountable…but the punishment needs to fit the crimes. I dont agree with the way he’s being treated now. Stay strong David.

  • Jorge

    I also knew David as a kid. Met him one summer at one of his Dad’s golf camps. I remember a very kind, outgoing and genuinely good person. So sorry to hear all of this. God bless you my old friend, I hope you find peace.

  • Tracy

    To that person in above post who preaches a very lack of compassion of stating ‘poor baby’. David and I were very close at one time in my childhood. He is in his core a very good person and in fact has an amazing energy about him. Nobody is perfect and he had a pre-disposition to drug addiction. People who do horrible things can change and be forgiven. – Tracy

  • qwikiuf

    Oh poor baby David Casper. He’s such a victim and we should all feel sorry for him…wahhhh! Interesting how he conveniently forgets to mention his crime spree that included 35 felony counts, including armed robbery, carjacking and false imprisonment. He was terrorizing people at gunpoint and it’s a miracle he didn’t murder anyone before he was stopped. Or that he tried to escape prison twice so that he could continue his crime spree.

    • masteradrian

      He may forget all that, but you seem to be forgetting that solitary confinement was NOT part of his sentence………..

      And what you are saying about his attempts to escape…. assumptions… nothing more!

  • Shannon

    I know David Casper he is a good guy with a good heart.

    • Kristy

      Do you know where he is now? I’m looking for him and I can’t seem to find him in NV or CA. We used to be very close at a time when he was sober, and I still miss him to this day.

  • Tes

    I live in a country…Ireland where sexual offenders get treated like men who committed a simple armed robbery. They only get 6years and let back free into society and the same neighbourhood where those kids lived which they tortured. And to top it off there is no child sexual offenders list here, not like the states where you can go online and find out where they live.Crime against children get covered up here and to think in the states men with petty crimes get treated in such an inhumane way. What has this world become to. What this Wardens/gaurds or whatever you call them are doing don’t make them any different/better than the exact criminals that they are so trying to punish. THAT’S WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU PUT ANOTHER HUMAN BEINGS LIFE INTO THE HANDS OF ANOTHER MERE MORTAL (HUMAN) PROOF THAT NO-ONE IS PERFECT.NOT EVEN THE ONES THAT MAKE THE SCREWED UP LAWS. AND ONLY GOD SHALL JUDGE…

  • For armed robbery and an escape attempt, there’s torture.

    For robbery with a fountain pen, stealing billions from hundreds of millions, there’s a bit of testimony before Congress.

    Remember when this was supposed to be a country of laws?

  • Judy Belanger

    Do not bend, I know it is easier said than done, but you are not alone, your voice is being heard. Only you knows what is going on in your head. Keep your mind clear and positive if you can. Please, Please

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