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War [on Crime] Is Over ——— If You Want It

Barbed wire

Santa Was in Prison and Jesus Got the Death Penalty

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This post has become a Christmas tradition at Solitary Watch. To all our readers, warm wishes for the holidays. Special thanks to those who have helped us bring a small ray of light into the darkness of solitary confinement by supporting our Lifelines to Solitary project. .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  […]

Voices from Solitary: Loneliness and Faith at Christmastime

The following essay comes from Brian Nelson, who spent 12 years in solitary confinement in Tamms supermax prison in Illinois. Released in 2010, he now works at the Uptown People’s Law Center, which has been instrumental in the battle to close Tamms–a battle that has at last proved successful. Some prisoners have already been moved out […]

Santa Was in Prison and Jesus Got the Death Penalty

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This post has become a Christmas tradition at Solitary Watch. To all our readers, warm wishes for the holidays. As Christmas is celebrated in Incarceration Nation, it’s worth remembering certain things about the two figures who dominate this holiday. As more than 3,000 Americans sit on death row, we revere the birth of a man who […]

Voices from Solitary: Christmas in the Hole, 1968

by Alan CYA #65085 Editors’ Note: In this memoir, the author–who prefers to be identified only by his first name and California Youth Authority number–recalls a Christmas spent as a 17-year-old inmate in the juvenile jail then known as the Preston School of Industry, since renamed the Preston Youth Correctional Facility. Opened in 1894, Preston was […]

Santa Was in Prison and Jesus Got the Death Penalty

As Christmas is celebrated in Incarceration Nation, it’s worth remembering certain things about the two figures who dominate this holiday. As more than 3,000 Americans sit on death row, we revere the birth of a godly man who was arrested, “tried,” sentenced, and put to death by the state. The Passion is the story of an […]

Santa Was in Solitary

Most people know that Santa Claus is derived from St. Nicholas, an early Christian saint beloved for his kindness and generosity. What hardly anyone knows is that Nicholas acquired sainthood not by giving alms, but by performing a miracle that more or less amounted to breaking out of solitary confinment. George Pappas Sr., writing in Ohio’s Zanesville Times […]