Seven Days in Solitary [10/28/18]

• San Jose Inside reported on the settlement of the 2015 class action lawsuit Chavez v. County of Santa Clara, which challenged the use of solitary confinement at San Jose’s Main Jail as unconstitutional. The lawsuit alleged that many of those held at the Main Jail had not yet been convicted of the crime with which they […]

The Use of Isolation in U.S. Prisons: A Human Rights Issue

Guest Post by Bonnie Kerness Editor’s Note: As coordinator of the American Friends Service Committee’s Prison Watch Project, Bonnie Kerness is a leading voice for humanitarian reform of U.S. prisons, jails and detention centers. Kerness is also a pioneer in raising awareness about the use of prolonged solitary confinement and in uncompromisingly identifying the practice as a […]

The Hidden History of Solitary Confinement in New Jersey's Control Units

Guest Post by Bonnie Kerness Editor’s Note: As coordinator of the American Friends Service Committee’s Prison Watch Project, Bonnie Kerness is a leading voice for humanitarian reform of U.S. prisons, jails, and detention centers. Kerness is also a pioneer in raising awareness about the use of prolonged solitary confinement, and in uncompromisingly identifying the practice […]

Voices from Solitary: Picturing Solitary Confinement

On his always superb blog Prison Photography, Pete Brooks last week featured a post called “Where Are All The Photographs Of Solitary Confinement?” As solitary confinement increasingly finds its way into the news, he writes, “journalists from across America have contacted me looking for photographs of solitary confinement to accompany their article.” With a few exceptions, Brooks writes, […]

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: Behind Enemy Lines

The artist Ojore Lutalo was released from Trenton State Penitentiary in August 2009 by way of a court order. He maxed out after 28 year. 22 of which were spent in the Management Control Unit (solitary confinement). Lutalo was imprisoned after an armed robbery conviction, but he was held in the MCU because his political beliefs–his association with the with […]