Prison Labor Strike in Alabama: “We Will No Longer Contribute to Our Own Oppression"

Despite being held in solitary confinement for years, men known as Kinetik, Dhati, and Brother M, primary leaders of the Free Alabama Movement, have been instrumental in organizing a statewide prison work stoppage in Alabama that began on Sunday, May 1. Currently, the prison labor strike has begun at Alabama’s Holman, Staton, and Elmore Correctional Facilities. St. Clair’s stoppage […]

The Human Rights of the Inhumane

Almost as soon as the handcuffs came off, Anders Behring Breivik delivered a Nazi salute to the courtroom gathered for his lawsuit against the Norwegian state. He is about as loathsome as it gets—a white supremacist mass murderer, taking every opportunity to spread a message of hate. In 2011, Breivik massacred a summer camp of […]

Georgia Prisoners' Strike: "We locked ourselves down."

In a protest that appears to be spreading through Georgia’s prison system, inmates are striking for better conditions. One interesting facet of this rare prison strike, which reaches across multiple facilities and across racial and factional lines, is the participants’ use of self-imposed lockdown to serve their own goals. Lockdown, in which prisoners are confined to their cells for up […]

Prison Heat: Hunger Strike Highlights Summer's Deadly Toll on U.S. Inmates

As heatwaves swept the Northeast earlier this month, 30 inmates in solitary confinement at New Hampshire State Prison went on hunger strike to protest stifling temperatures inside the prison’s Special Housing Unit. According to the Concord Monitor, “Inmates in SHU cannot open windows and must remain in their cells, usually alone, for 23 hours a day. Unlike inmates in […]

Devices of Torture in U.S. Prisons

Guest Post by Bonnie Kerness Editors’ 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 form […]

Johnny Cash: Solitary Man

Yesterday would have been Johnny Cash’s 78th birthday. Prison Law Blog dug out this NPR story from 2005 on Cash’s famous visit to Folsom Prison in 1968, which includes a recording of him singing “Folsom Prison Blues” for an audience of inmates. Listen to it here. Since that recording was made, the U.S. prison population has increased seven-fold, […]