Solitary Watch frequently receives notes from prisoners, many of them in solitary. From time to time, we want to share excerpts some of these with our readers. Names of prisoners and prisons have been removed to protect the writers of these letters.
I have been in lockup for a year and a half and I have another two years to do before I will be able to get back in the general population. I exercise and try to occupy my time but being in a cell is hard with only what is in your head. –South Carolina
I am in a one man cell on the second of three tiers. There are 6 tiers, about 180 people in this cell block. I am fed in my cell. The only time I leave my cell is to shower 3 times a week and get some outside time three times a week in a wire cage the size of a dog kennel…There are no windows in the O wing cells and this is administrative segregation (the hole). People housed here are considered or classified a danger to the security of the facility and each other. —California
I’ve been in solitary confinement since October 2008 after prison guards conducted a sweep of all Hispanics which the department classified as “Northeners’’(Hispanics from San Francisco, San Jose, Sacramento, etc.) As a resut of this sweep me along with about 50 other Hispanics were put in solitary confinement under the pretext that we were being put under investigation of being prison gang members and associates. This was the second sweep of Hispanics in which I had been taken to ad segregation for “investigation.” The first time I was allowed back into the general population. This second time around, however, I was validated as a prison gang associate. Based on a fabricated confidential “staff report’’—prison staff purported to have seen me included with gang activity… I couldn’t cross examine the evidence because it was confidential. I knew that the alleged incident was fabricated as it never occurred. Similarly prison staff also used confidential information provided by confidential informants who were seeking lenient treatment from their own misconduct. –California
I am a 75 year old indigent lifer in 23 hour a day solitary cell suffering extreme debilitating depression causing me to sleep 16-20 hours a day and suffering physical abuses as well as psychological abuses–beaten, kicked, kneed, choked, body strapped to the floor, starved up to 8 straight days, taunted and accused of the physical impossibility of the rape of a cat. –Florida