In May of 2020, the Council of Social Work Education published the SWASC Bibliography “Shedding Light on Solitary Confinement” as its featured Educator|Resource. Read their Q&A with SWASC co-founder Moya Atkinson here.

The Bibliography is the culmination of years of hard work creating and culling media to educate social work students, professionals, and the public on the practice of solitary confinement. This resource was created by SWASC members in collaboration with educators, directly impacted individuals, health professionals, activists, researchers, and others.

The Bibliography offers a comprehensive overview of solitary confinement that includes voices of those who have been affected by it, the ethical dilemma of health and social service providers who work in criminal justice facilities, and humane alternatives. The resource database provides an extensive set of more than 300 teaching resources, from personal essays and reports to interactive discussion guides and thought-provoking documentaries to webinars and easy-to-use PowerPoint presentations, all of which can be applied in a range of social work courses. This includes courses in criminal justice as well as practice courses in mental health, policy, community organizing and advocacy, and social justice and human rights.

See some of the highlights of the Bibliography’s  300+ entries below.

Five-Part Toolkit

Created by Social Workers and Allies Against Solitary Confinement members, these toolkits provide contemplation points, resources, and calls to action:


Shedding Light on Solitary Confinement: Three-Part Vimeo PowerPoint Presentation by Moya Atkinson with Patrick Bond.


  • Discussion Guide to accompany three-part video series Shedding Light on Solitary Confinement
  • Reading Guide to accompany the book Hell is a Very Small Place: Voices from Solitary Confinement
  • Viewing Guide by Solitary Watch to accompany documentary Solitary: Inside Red Onion State Prison





SWASC Partners and Educator | Resource Contributors

Sandy Bernabei, MSW, convener, SWASC; former president, NASW-NYC; founder, AntiRacist Alliance
Mary Buser, MSW, co-founder, SWASC
Rachel Frome, MSW, capacity building associate, Project HOME, Philadelphia; former program coordinator, SWASC

Mary Gamble, MSW, former behavioral health coordinator, local detention center, Maryland
Gail Kadison Golden, MSW, EdD, founding member, AntiRacist Alliance
Marquerita Johnson-Tolson, MSW, NYS certified peer specialist and recovery coordinator, former intern, SWASC

Barbara Kasper, MSW, associate professor, Social Work Department, The College at Brockport
Willow Katz, MS, member, End Solitary Santa Cruz County, California
Bonnie Kerness, MSW, coordinator, Prison Watch Program, American Friends Service Committee
Katy Leidel, MSW, MSc, day treatment clinician, Andrus; former mitigation specialist, Legal Aid Society, Manhattan

Marilyn Montenegro, PhD, MSW, founder, Prison Project, National Association of Social Workers
Victor Pate, campaign organizer, New York Campaign Alternatives to Isolated Confinement
Mary Pelton-Cooper, PsyD, past president, Psychologists for Social Responsibility
Johnny Perez, director, U.S. Prisons Program, National Religious Campaign Against Torture
Ali Winters, DSW, assistant professor, Social Work Program, Tennessee State University

To suggest resources for the Bibliography, which is always growing, please contact us.