Holiday Kickstarter for Our “Lifelines to Solitary” Project

by | December 7, 2012

Dear Readers, Supporters, and Friends:

In the three years since the founding of Solitary Watch, there has been a remarkable groundswell of activism around solitary confinement in U.S. prisons and jails. Solitary confinement is increasingly seen as a major issue of domestic human rights, with a true and growing movement opposing its use and abuse. (See our Action page for more information.)

While our larger aim is to challenge the torture of solitary confinement and build a more humane future, we are always aware of the more than 80,000 prisoners currently suffering in solitary on any given day in the United States. That’s why this year we are initiating a “Lifelines to Solitary” project, which will enable us to maintain direct contact more than 500 men, women, and children in solitary confinement, sending personalized holiday cards and letters as well as Solitary Watch newsletters throughout the year.

Drawing by Martin Vargas

For people in conditions of isolation and sensory deprivation–conditions known to cause anguish, madness, and even suicide–these communications can be a crucial lifeline, a connection to the outside world, and a reminder that they are not forgotten.

To support “Lifelines to Solitary” we have launched a Kickstarter-type campaign on Razoo (a specialized platform for nonprofits). Our modest fundraising goal for this project is $2,500–a small price compared with the solace it will bring to hundreds of people who are buried alive in American prisons and jails. As little as $10 enables us to keep in touch with one person in solitary throughout the year, while $500 pays for the cost of printing and mailing a newsletter.

Please give at any level, and become part of this effort to bring a spark of light into the darkness of solitary. Click on the link below to make your donation to “Lifelines to Solitary” via our nonprofit sponsor, Community Futures Collective. And please share this post with your own networks.

With warm holiday wishes, and grateful thanks for your concern and support–

Jean and Jim


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 by December 31st, and your gift will be matched for double the impact.



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