Learn more about solitary confinement, find resources for people currently or formerly incarcerated, connect to advocacy groups and explore current research on prison reform and isolation practices.
Inspire hope! Learn how to send letters to prisoners through Lifelines to Solitary here.
A great resource for news about solitary confinement and supermax prisons, with a focus on the United States. Regularly updated.
The Interfaith Action for Human Rights Newsletter
A great resource to stay up to date with news, developments and initiatives in regards to Solitary Confinement and incarceration.
The Center for Prisoner Health and Human Rights
The Center for Prisoner Health and Human Rights was established in 2005 to act as a hub for the innovative correctional health research and programming occurring at The Miriam Hospital and other research hospitals in RI and around the country. The Center’s mission is to improve the health and human rights of justice-involved populations through education, advocacy, and research.
NYPL’s Connections, a guide for formally incarcerated people in New York City – Sarah Ball
Guide full of resources and information on incarceration, classes, childcare and more, with sections dedicated to identity-specific services (LGBTQ, etc).
The Sentencing Project
“The Sentencing Project works for a fair and effective U.S. criminal justice system by promoting reforms in sentencing policy, addressing unjust racial disparities and practices, and advocating for alternatives to incarceration.”
A website dedicated to supermax prisons. Contains many links.
Safe Alternatives to Segregation
“The Safe Alternatives to Segregation (SAS) Initiative of the Center on Sentencing and Corrections (CSC) at the Vera Institute of Justice (Vera) is partnering with five state and local corrections systems to significantly reduce the use of segregated housing through the advancement of safe and effective alternatives. Through the online Safe Alternatives to Segregation Resource Center, Vera provides the latest research, reports, policy briefs, and information on promising reforms already being implemented in jurisdictions nationwide. These resources aim to inform corrections officials, policymakers, advocates, the media, and the general public about the current use of segregation in the U.S., its impacts, and what can be done to address it. Through the resource center, Vera also offers limited technical assistance to additional jurisdictions upon request.
The SAS Initiative is providing technical assistance to state corrections departments in Nebraska, North Carolina, and Oregon, and local departments in Middlesex County, New Jersey, and New York City”.
Stop Solitary for Kids Campaign
Thousands of young people are held in solitary confinement each year across the country, yet research shows that this style of punishment is linked to lasting psychological consequences for kids without making facilities safer.
This is why the Foundation is supporting the Stop Solitary for Kids campaign to end solitary confinement of youth in juvenile and adult facilities in the United States.
Hell is a Very Small Place – Solitary Watch (2016)
“These firsthand accounts are supplemented by the writing of noted experts, exploring the psychological, legal, ethical, and political dimensions of solitary confinement, and a comprehensive introduction by Solitary Watch’s James Ridgeway and Jean Casella. Sarah Shourd, herself a survivor of more than a year of solitary confinement”
Dual Loyalty & Human Rights In Health Professional Practice: Proposed Guidelines & Institutional Mechanisms: Fidelity to the patient is a cornerstone of the ethics of health practice; yet physicians, nurses and other health professionals are increasingly called upon to subordinate the patient’s interest to some social objective – sometimes at the expense of the rights of the patient. In this book, PHR analyzes the problem of dual loyalty and proposes both practice guidelines and institutional mechanisms to support health professionals facing dual loyalty conflicts.
FIRST DEGREE a film about prison education (June 2017) : FIRST DEGREE takes viewers inside the infamous Sing Sing maximum security prison and offers a unique window into a college behind bars that prevents released inmates from returning to prison. For further information about home use or educational use of FIRST DEGREE contact email@example.com .
The Guidelines for Successful Transition of People with Mental and Substance Use Disorders from Jail and Prison (Apr 2017) : Implementation Guide provide behavioral health, correctional and community stakeholders with examples of successful strategies for transitioning people with mental or substance use disorders from correctional settings into the community.
Survivors Manual: A guide for, and by, people living in control units – American Friends Service Committee (2012)
Guide full of tools and coping strategies for surviving solitary. A great resource for learning more on this inhumane practice.
Sourcebook on solitary confinement (English) : The Sourcebook on solitary confinement provides a comprehensive single point of reference on solitary confinement, its documented health effects, and professional, ethical and human rights guidelines and codes of practice relating to its use. It is hoped that the Sourcebook will encourage policy makers and prison managers to put in place safeguards and mechanisms to limit the use of solitary confinement and to mitigate its harmful consequences.
Report Details Devastating Effects Of Mass Incarceration On The U.S.
Nearly one-third of the adult population in the U.S. has some kind of criminal record.
The American prison system is unlike any other in the world. It’s sprawling, expensive and largely ineffective at reducing crime or rehabilitating offenders. But in recent years, politicians and citizens alike have grown weary of the “tough on crime” policies that inflated the nation’s inmate population and made the U.S. the world’s leading jailer. Now they’re calling for reform.
A report released last week by the White House, titled “Economic Perspectives On Incarceration And The Criminal Justice System,” attempts to shed light on the scale of the catastrophe by looking at the issue through the lens of economics. It catalogues the startling financial and human costs of decades of bad policies, and proposes ways to correct course.
ASCA, Liman Program Report on Restrictive Housing : this report “jointly authored by the Association of State Correctional Administrators (ASCA) and the Arthur Liman Program at Yale Law School, reflects a profound change in the national discussion about the use of what correctional officials call “restrictive housing” and what is popularly known as “solitary confinement.”
Solitary Confinement – Ken Strutin (10 Aug 2010)
“The selected materials collected here represent current research and thinking about the physical, psychological and legal implications of isolation as punishment, and the policy issues behind continuing this practice in the light of national and international standards and human rights declarations”
21st General Report on the CPT’s Activities (2010-2011)
Includes sections on access to a lawyer and on solitary confinement of prisoners.
A bibliography of research on psychological effects of social isolation, pre-trial isolation and supermax conditions – Are Haram Klykken, University of Tromso, Norway (Nov 2012)
Prison studies of solitary confinement.
Concluding observations on the third to fifth periodic reports of United States of America: CAT – Convention against Torture and Other Cruel Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment 53 Session (03 Nov 2014 – 28 Nov 2014)
Principles of Medical Ethics relevant to the Role of Health Personnel, particularly Physicians, in the Protection of Prisoners and Detainees against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment
American Civil Liberties Union (we can stop solitary campaign)
Anti Torture Initiative with the United Nations Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment