Voices from Solitary: In Memoriam

As the year ends, we are republishing the following essay by Joseph Stanwick, who spent nearly two decades in solitary confinement in Texas prisons. “I’ve seen men cut on themselves with razor blades, go on hunger strikes for the most absurd reasons, beat on the walls and doors,” he wrote of his experiences there, “because solitary […]

Mandela in Solitary

“I found solitary confinement the most forbidding aspect of prison life. There is no end and no beginning; there is only one’s mind, which can begin to play tricks. Was that a dream or did it really happen? One begins to question everything.” –Nelson Mandela, from his 1994 autobiography The Long Walk to Freedom Nelson […]

Voices from Solitary: Growing Old in Isolation

Shawn Fisher, who is serving a life sentence at Massachusetts Correctional Institution–Shirley, has written to Solitary Watch making the argument that the treatment of many elders in prison is in fact a form of solitary confinement. An organization of lifers in Massachusetts has urged the state legislature to adopt some sort of compassionate leave act that would […]