Category Archives: Super-Max

Opening the Box: Sarah Shourd on Herman Wallace, California Hunger Strikers and the Horror of Solitary Confinement

Last month, we were devastated to learn that the Angola 3’s Herman Wallace had been diagnosed with liver cancer, and that he was continuing to be held in isolation in a locked room at Hunt Correctional Center’s prison infirmary. Reflecting on … Continue reading

Posted in Abuse, ACLU, Activism, Angola 3, Herman Wallace, History, Human Rights Watch, Hunger Strike, Insanity, Political Prisoners, SHU, Solitary Confinement, Super-Max, Torture | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

No Place For Children

Please sign (and share!) the petition on

Posted in Activism, Confined Kids, Insanity, Mental Health, Public Safety, Sensory Deprivation, SHU, Super-Max, Surviving Solitary, Torture, Torture for $$$ | Tagged , | 2 Comments

The Horrible Psychology of Solitary Confinement

“You can’t starve people. You can’t put them into a hotbox or maim them,” she continued. “If you could do brain scans to show that people suffer permanent damage, that could make solitary look less like some form of distress, … Continue reading

Posted in Abuse, ACLU, Angola 3, California, Control Unit, Hunger Strike, Mental Health, Pelican Bay, Sensory Deprivation, Solitary Confinement, Super-Max, Torture for $$$ | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

California Prisoners Launch New Hunger Strike to Protest Solitary Confinement

Solitary Watch – “Hundreds of people held in California prisons are expected to launch their third large-scale hunger strike in two years today. The current strike, announced by leaders at Pelican Bay State Prison on February 14th, is seen as a resumption … Continue reading

Posted in ACLU, Activism, California, Control Unit, Hunger Strike, Pelican Bay, Political Prisoners, Sensory Deprivation, SHU, Solitary Confinement, Solitary Watch, Super-Max, Torture for $$$ | Tagged , ,

Lawsuit: Eight Inmates Beaten At NC Prison

“…Inmates with serious mental disorders were often kept in isolation for weeks, sometimes nude, in roach-infested cells smeared with human waste.”   By MICHAEL BIESECKER, Associated Press WRAL – “RALEIGH, N.C. — A federal lawsuit on behalf of eight inmates at … Continue reading

Posted in Abuse, ACLU, Ethics, Human Rights Watch, Insanity, Mental Health, North Carolina, Reform, Sensory Deprivation, SHU, Super-Max | Tagged , , ,

Spirituality In Dark Places

Spirituality in Dark Places explores the spiritual consequences and ethics of modern solitary confinement. Jeffreys emphasizes how solitary confinement damages our spiritual lives, focusing particularly on how it destroys our relationship to time and undermines our creativity. Solitary inmates experience … Continue reading

Posted in Activism, Ethics, Solitary Confinement, Super-Max, Surviving Solitary, Wisconsin | Tagged , , | 7 Comments

The Horrifying Existence Of Solitary Confinement

“If we believe in basic human rights and dignity for all human beings, then we surely must object to solitary confinement.” Excerpts, SFBay View – “Imagine being locked in a cage alone for 22 ½ hours a day, sometimes for … Continue reading

Posted in Hunger Strike, Insanity, Pelican Bay, Sensory Deprivation, SHU, Solitary Confinement, Super-Max, Torture | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

Utah’s Supermax: House of Horrors

It has been over a year since I have had regular contact with men in this unit; my husband and I worked with prisoners here for 2 years trying to expose the abuses going on but made little progress, unfortunately. … Continue reading

Posted in Abuse, American Legislative Exchange Council, Mark Shurtleff, Mental Health, Sensory Deprivation, SHU, Super-Max, Torture, Utah | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

Israeli Prisons Equipped by Notorious Security Firm G4S Hold Palestinian Teens in Solitary Confinement

Submitted by Adri Nieuwhof on Tue, 12/11/2012 Excerpt from Electronic Intifada– “Israel has held six Palestinian boys from Nablus in solitary confinement in al-Jalame detention center near Haifa, writes Defence for Children International-Palestine Section inan urgent appeal. The boys have spent on average 14.5 days in solitary confinement, ranging … Continue reading

Posted in Confined Kids, G4S, Solitary Confinement, Super-Max, Torture, Torture for $$$ | Tagged , ,

FBOP To Review Solitary Confinement Conditions

On the surface this seems like a positive step in the right direction…but the slightly snarky side of me can’t help but wonder if allowing an agency of the Bureau of Prisons to investigate the actions of the BOP isn’t … Continue reading

Posted in Abuse, Sensory Deprivation, SHU, Solitary Watch, Super-Max, Surviving Solitary | Tagged , , ,

A Diary Of Solitary

This is an excerpt from prisoner’s request for help that came to us (my husband and I) a couple of years ago. We managed to verify from outside sources and get corroboration from other inmates inside on all of the … Continue reading

Posted in Abuse, Confined Kids, Control Unit, Super-Max, Surviving Solitary, Torture | 6 Comments

The Modern (Prison) Asylum

“Prisons have become the nation’s primary mental health facilities. But for those with serious illnesses, prison can be the worst place to be.” Director, U.S. Program of Human Rights Watch *** “We are literally drowning in patients, running around trying … Continue reading

Posted in Mental Health, Sensory Deprivation, Solitary Confinement, Super-Max | Tagged , | 5 Comments

The Dangers of Isolating Social Creatures

Originally published in the New Yorker,  the research in the article quoted here is still relevant – if not even more relevant now that more men, women and children and being thrown into isolation cells for minor infractions inside prisons. … Continue reading

Posted in Insanity, Mental Health, Sensory Deprivation, SHU, Super-Max, Torture, Torture for $$$

The Cruelest Punishment

“So when you’re in Iran and in solitary confinement,” asks Lt. Chris Acosta, my guide at California’s Pelican Bay State Prison, “was it different?” His tone makes clear that he believes an Iranian prison to be a bad place… Excerpts … Continue reading

Posted in Control Unit, Mental Health, Pelican Bay, SHU, Super-Max, Torture | Tagged ,

The Monster Machine

 ABCNews’ Dan Harris voluntarily spends 48 hours in a tiny cell at the Denver County Jail. Part 1 Watch full episode here on ABCNews

Posted in Colorado, Control Unit, Mental Health, Super-Max, Torture, Videos

Build a movement to close solitary confinement

Originally posted on Moorbey’z Blog Source: by Mumia Abu-Jamal   You may think that you know something about solitary, but you don’t. You may have a loved one in prison who has experienced it and told you about it. But still I say, … Continue reading

Posted in Mental Health, Mumia Abu-Jamal, SHU, Super-Max, Torture

Survivors Manual: Surviving In Solitary

A manual written by and for people living in control units.  The federal penitentiary in Marion, Illinois, went on permanent lock down in 1983. This created the first “control unit.” Now, in addition to the federal government, some forty states have … Continue reading

Posted in Control Unit, Mental Health, SHU, Super-Max, Surviving Solitary, Torture | Tagged ,