Bonnie Kerness: Pioneer in the Struggle Against Solitary Confinement

Guest Post by Lance Tapley In 1986 Ojore Lutalo, a black revolutionary in the Trenton State Prison — now the New Jersey State Prison — wrote to Bonnie Kerness’s American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) office in Newark. His letter described the extreme isolation and other brutalities in the prison’s Management Control Unit, which he called a “prison […]

Voices from Solitary: Lane Nelson on Angola's Death Row

While serving time at the Louisiana State Penitentiary, Lane Nelson spent 18 years as a staff writer and later managing editor for the nation’s most renowned prison magazine, The Angolite. He covered a wide range of subjects, including Angola’s longtermer population and hepatitis-C behind bars, and he interviewed and profiled several men just days before their executions. Nelson himself […]

"Fatal Flaws" in the Colorado Solitary Confinement Study

Guest Post by Stuart Grassian, M.D. Editors’ Note: The Colorado Department of Corrections recently released the controversial results of a year-long, federally funded study conducted at the Colorado State Penitentiary, a supermax prison in Cañon City where more than 700 men are held in solitary confinement. Entitled “One Year Longitudinal Study of the Psychological Effects of Administrative Segregation,” […]

How to Create Madness in Prison

Guest Post by Terry A. Kupers, M.D., M.S.P. Editors’ note: Dr. Terry Kupers is one of the world’s leading experts on the psychological effects of solitary confinement. A psychiatrist with a background in psychoanalytic psychotherapy, forensics, and social and community psychiatry, he teaches at the Wright Institute, a graduate school of psychology in Berkeley, California, while also […]