Entries by Moya Atkinson

Willow Katz, CA- We Will End the Torture!

Willow Katz, M.S., retired nutritionist/health educator, is a member of SWASC, California Families Against Solitary Confinement (CFASC), Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity Coalition (PHSS), and End Solitary Santa Cruz County CA. Willow has been an anti-racist grassroots peace and justice activist since the 1960’s. In 1969 she visited Puerto Rico and became a supporter of the […]

Hosts Craig Haney and Brie Williams Promote United Nations’ “Mandela Rules”

Global experts, led by Craig Haney and Brie Williams, will build on the Mandela Rules to establish a set of principles to replace solitary confinement with humane alternatives. https://news.ucsc.edu/2018/06/haney-summit.html June 06, 2018 ByJennifer McNulty  Share this story:TwitterFacebookGoogle+LinkedInReddit “Social contact is a fundamental human need,” says Distinguished Professor of Psychology Craig Haney, who organized a recent […]

Joseph Wronka, Human Rights expert, joins SWASC in developing CSWE-approved instructional modules

SWASC is most appreciative that Joseph Wronka has joined our group. He is the author of the seminal text book Human Rights and Social Justice: Social Action and Service for the Helping and Health Professions, Second Edition (Sage, 2017) He has agreed to support SWASC members in creating modules and other instructional resources on the […]

SWASC Recommendations for NASW Criminal Justice Priorities, 2018-2019

SWASC’s Recommendations under NASW’s Criminal Justice Priorities for 2018-2019 By Moya Atkinson, MSW, Co-founder, SWASC, member of NASW-MD, former NASW-MD executive director (1993-2002) SWASC Background Social Workers Against Solitary Confinement (SWASC) was founded in October 2014 because health professionals who were working with incarcerated people in solitary confinement exposed the punitive, inhumane, degrading settings in […]

Will the social work profession assume ethical responsibility for the abolition of solitary confinement?

By Moya Atkinson, MSW, co-founder of Social Workers Against Solitary Confinement   Darla Spence Coffey, CEO and President of the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) recently agreed to the request made by Social Workers Against Solitary Confinement (SWASC) to work together to develop instructional modules which will expose the ethical and practice challenges faced by […]


by Atul Gawande Public support for or tolerance of solitary confinement in American prisons is the dark side of American exceptionalism. With little concern or demurral, we have consigned tens of thousands of our own citizens to conditions that horrified our highest court a century ago. Our willingness to discard these standards for American citizens made […]


By Shreya Mandal, Expert Witness for New York State Courts I was introduced to working with people in solitary confinement as the first mitigation specialist/ social worker at the Criminal Appeals Bureau of The Legal Aid Society of New York from 2005 to 2012. Now, I am an expert witness for the courts. After the […]

Council on Social Work Education Plans to Introduce Solitary Confinement as a Human Rights Violation

  Darla Spence Coffey, PhD, President and CEO of the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) has indicated support to disseminate instructional materials that SWASC is developing to assist faculty to teach about solitary confinement.  This is aligned with EPAS Competency #3, “Advance Human Rights and Social, Economic, and Environmental Justice.” Within the United States, […]

Jihad Abdulmumit: “Cognitive Dissonance”

By Jihad Abdulmumit Cognitive Dissonance Since being held in both Attica and Southport Special Housing Units (SHU) for the past several months (12/5/16 to 3/21/17), each week, once a day, a psychologist stops at each cell asking its inhabitant, “How are you doing? Are you feeling all right?” When the prisoner responds “I’m Okay,” the […]