A Preventable Death in an Arizona Prison

Guest Post by Carl ToersBijns Carl ToersBijns worked in corrections for over 25 years, holding the positions of a correctional officer, chief of security at a mental health treatment center, program director, associate warden, and deputy warden of administration and operations in both the New Mexico and Arizona Departments of Corrections. He  specializes in consulting and developing strategic plans […]

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 […]

Mumia Abu-Jamal Challenges Death Row Solitary Confinement and Life Without Parole

Guest Post by Bret Grote In a story that has received scant attention so far, former death row occupant, political prisoner, and world-renowned journalist Mumia Abu-Jamal filed a legal challenge to the imposition of a sentence of life without parole. Mumia is basing his case, in part, on the idea that his thirty years in solitary confinement […]

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 […]

Prison Myth No. 1: "Prisoners Want to Go Into Solitary Confinement"

Guest Post by Stan Moody Editors’ note: Stan Moody is a former state representative and chaplain at the Maine State Prison, where he ministered to inmates in the supermax unit. Moody, who currently serves as pastor at the Meeting House Church in Manchester, Maine, is the author of the books Crisis in Evangelical Scholarship and McChurched: 300 Million […]

"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,” […]