Entries by Emily Lane

Witness to human torture: on both sides of the prison walls social workers confront solitary confinement – Valerie Kiebala, Solitary Watch: November 3, 2017 (a response)

Read the Article Here. The author describes social workers and other health professionals who protested the use of solitary confinement – cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment of prisoners, even torture. Several resigned, rather than violate their codes of ethics. A noted ethicist and the NASW Manager for Social Justice and Human Rights present NASW’s position […]

Dolores Canales: mother of a Pelican Bay (CA) Prisoner and a leader in California Families Against Solitary Confinement.

Dolores Canales recently joined SWASC; and we’re very thankful for her presence, her leadership and eagerness to join us in our work. Below is her article.. My name is Dolores Canales, I am a member of California Families to Abolish Solitary Confinement (Cfasc), I am on the Advisory Board of CURB (Californians United for a […]

Writing to a man in prison. My personal experience.

Moya Atkinson, Co-coordinator, Social Workers Against Solitary Confinement October 10, 2017 Awhile ago I volunteered to be a pen pal  to someone in solitary, and contacted Stop Solitary’s Lifelines to Solitary. Solitary Watch’s amazing volunteer, Marlies Talay forwarded me the name of a prisoner currently in a New York State prison. “A” and I had […]

Behind Enemy Lines: From Slavery to Mass Imprisonment

Bonnie Kerness, Program Director AFSC Prison Watch Program Poverty Awareness Week Quinnipiac Law School April 20, 2017   My early observations of oppression in this country began when I was 12 watching television and seeing children of African descent my age in the South being hosed by police and bitten by dogs for trying to […]

Katy Liedel, “Why I joined SWASC”

My motivation to end solitary confinement began with my work at The Legal Aid Society. I went to Rikers Island and met with a 16-year-old boy. When I interviewed him for a defense report he described his life in solitary. He told me he was permitted 1 hour outside per day. He said the guards […]

On “Madness” a Reflection by Bonnie Kerness

“Madness” (Eyal Press, May 2nd) strikes horror in many of us who have been advocating on behalf of those with mental health diagnosis who end up in US prisons. The excellent investigation done in the piece is reflective of the soul ripping testimonies that many of us have received for decades. We, who have been […]

Ralph’s Story

By Erica Itzkowitz, member of Social Workers Against Solitary Confinement June 22, 2017 : I met Ralph 18 years ago, when he was11, living in a foster care home in New Rochelle, with his sister and 4 other cousins, who were also in foster care with their great aunt. He was a precocious, 11-year old, who […]