If the SHU Fits - Voices from Solitary Confinement



As this page is incomplete, still under construction, and will hopefully be ever-changing, for right now we have put all our resources on it. As we continue to edit and add more, we plan to have individual pages for each of the subtopics here. Please bear with us

These resources are some of those we have used. If you are aware of others we should include, please let us know through our contact page!

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About Solitary Confinement

"Solitary confinement of prisoners exists under a range of names: isolation, control units, supermax prisons, the hole, SHUs, administrative segregation, maximum security, or permanent lockdown.

Prisoners can be placed in these units for many reasons: as punishment while they are under investigation; as a mechanism for behavior modification, when suspected of gang involvement; as retribution for political activism; or to fill expensive, empty beds, to name but a few." Read more


Links to Organizations

All of the organizations or websites listed here have active campaigns to reform or end the use of solitary confinement. Some provide support for family members and others reach out to those who are inside. Please excuse and inform us of any omissions.

American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)

American Friends Service Committee (AFSC)

Bill of Rights Defense Center (BORDC)

California Families Against Solitary Confinement (CFASC)

Human Rights Watch

Interfaith Communities United for Justice and Peace

National Religious Campaign Against Torture

Prison Hunger Strike Solidarity Coalition

Solitary Watch



There are many fine videos about solitary confinement. Artwork is also available and there are a number of organizations that print stories, poems and drawings of those people in confinement. We have listed a few here and ended with a link to the Solitary Watch media Resource page, which has been invaluable.


Breaking Down the Box, a 40-minute documentary for communities of faith, to expose the torture of solitary confinement in the context of mass incarceration in the United States. From the National Religious Campaign Against Torture


Growing Up Locked Down Human Rights Watch and the ACLU teamed up on a 141 page report and powerful 4 minute video on teens in solitary confinement.


Solitary Confinement: Cruel and Inhuman This AFSC video captures the visceral experience and long term impact of isolation.


Solitary Watch This website has a list serve worth subscribing to-this link to their multimedia resource page includes videos, info graphics, art and photography.



Reports and Articles

This section of resources will certainly grow--we depend on you to provide us with material to include.

Agreement to End Hostilities In August, 2012, representatives of the CA Hunger Strike issued a statement calling for an end to all violence and hostility between different groups of prisoners throughout the state of CA from maximum security prisons to county jails.

Solitary Confinement: Common Misconceptions and Emerging Safe Alternatives The Vera Institute has issued the first in a series on solitary confinement, its use and misuse, and ways to safely reduce it in our nation’s correctional facilities. 2015

UN Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, 1985 (ratified by U.S. 1994).

Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture, 2002 (not yet signed or ratified by the United States).

Growing Up, Locked Down Youth in Solitary Confinement in Jails and Prisons Across the United States 2012