Entries by Moya Atkinson

Update on the California Prisoner Human Rights Movement to End Indefinite Solitary Confinement, Ashker v. Governor of California Settlement

The Ashker v. Governor of California federal class action lawsuit is before Judge Claudia Wilken in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. Acronyms; 2.    Court Finds Systemic Constitutional Violations by California Department of Corrections: Extends Settlement to End Indefinite Solitary Confinement in California, January 28, 2019; Legal update on the Ashker […]

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A Second Call to NASW Chapter Execs to End Solitary Confinement

Moya Atkinson, former NASW-MD E.D. (1993-2002) and Member; Co-founder of Social Workers Against Solitary Confinement (SWASC) On February 2, 2019, at my request, the NASW-MD Executive Director forwarded the email below to the 55 chapter executive directors. Since we received no responses, we are writing again with a sense of urgency and deep concern. After […]

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Why Did NASW Neglect to Tell Members About Suicide in Correctional Facilities?

Moya Atkinson, MSW, co-founder of Social Workers Against Solitary Confinement (SWASC) Alison Lauro’s timely ten-page article Suicide Rates on the Rise that appeared in NASW’s Social Work Advocates’ failed to mention the high rate of suicide and self-mutilation within prisons, jails and detention centers or the role social workers play or should/could play in these settings. The […]

Homer Venters’ “Life and Death in Rikers Island” – Interview with Amy Goodman; Book Review by Jennifer Gonnerman; Q&A; Myth-busting; & Community Organized Correctional Health Services (COCHS)

 “The former chief medical officer of New York City jails has just published a remarkable new book about the health risks of incarceration. Dr. Homer Venters offers unprecedented insight into what happens inside prison walls to create new health risks for incarcerated people, including neglect, blocked access to care, physical and sexual violence, and brutality […]

Visit to Colorado’s State Penitentiary, the Centennial Prison and the Denver Women’s Correctional Facility December, 2018

by Mary Buser, LCSW and SWASC Co-Founder In early December of 2018, a group of SWASC and CAIC members from New York  — Mary Buser, Victor Pate, Moya Atkinson and Ali Winters — journeyed to Colorado to observe the publicized reforms to solitary confinement that the state has implemented over the past few years. As […]

News Stories Worth Reading

From GothamistNew York’s State Prisons Are Brutal and Deadly. That’s Something We Can Change From Filter From NIC – National Institute of Corrections Suicide and Prevention Resource Guide in Corrections From #HALT Solitary TAKE ACTION NOW TO #HALTSOLITARY CONFINEMENT IN NEW YORK! Sign the petition to support the HALT Solitary Confinement Act: https://goo.gl/pRZNyB Encourage your […]


Solitary Confinement Project Students interview men and women incarcerated in New York City Jails (mostly at Rikers Island), who are serving time in solitary confinement. The information gleaned from these interviews is used by the Jails Action Coalition in their campaign to reform solitary confinement in New York. This is an excellent project for students […]

Tina Maschi, PhD, LCSW, ACSW, NY- Educating for Rights and Justice

The Council on Social Work Education underscores that social workers should be educated to advance human right, social, economic, and environmental justice. In a new journal article in Social Work Education written by my colleagues and me, we asserted that forensic social work with significant relevance to prisoner rights including solitary confinement, is an integrated practice specialization at […]