Voices From Solitary: Waltzing Into Hell

The following account was written by Laura Purviance, who is currently serving a 50 to life sentence for murder at Central California Women’s Facility (CCWF) in Chowchilla. In her writing, Purviance describes her experience at Lynwood Jail for women in Los Angeles. After revealing her mental health history, Purviance was placed on “suicide watch” in […]

Voices From Solitary: Resurrection

The author of the following poem, William Blake, has spent 31 continuous years in solitary confinement in New York State prisons. Sentenced to 77 years to life for killing a sheriff’s deputy in a failed escape attempt when he was 23 years old, Blake is being held in administrative segregation, meaning there is no clear […]

Voices from Solitary: Returned to the SHU in California

In 2013, tens of thousands of people incarcerated throughout California launched a hunger strike to protest the polices of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) around indefinite isolation in solitary confinement (also known as indeterminate sentences). The strike lasted nearly 60 days and ended only after state lawmakers promised to hold hearings around […]

Voices from Solitary: In Memoriam

As the year ends, we are republishing the following essay by Joseph Stanwick, who spent nearly two decades in solitary confinement in Texas prisons. “I’ve seen men cut on themselves with razor blades, go on hunger strikes for the most absurd reasons, beat on the walls and doors,” he wrote of his experiences there, “because solitary […]