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What Does a Book Have to Do With a Movement?

Victoria Law Waging Nonviolence
Todd Ashker is one of the leaders of the Pelican Bay hunger strikers and the lead plaintiff in the class-action lawsuit Ashker v. Governor of California. Sometime between 2008 and 2009, Ashker managed to get his hands on “Nothing But an Unfinished Song: Bobby Sands, the Irish Hunger Striker Who Inspired a Generation." What does a book have to do with the movement that ended indefinite solitary confinement in California?

How Racist Is Solitary Confinement?

Erika Eichelberger The Intercept
It hardly bears repeating that people of color are incarcerated in staggering numbers. But a new study authored by health officials with the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) shows that racial disparities in jail run far deeper: black and Hispanic inmates are vastly more likely to be punished with solitary confinement than their white counterparts, and less likely to receive diagnoses of mental illness.

Solitary Confinement Isn't Punishment, It's Torture

Jasmine Heiss The Guardian
Albert Woodfox – who has the dubious honor of being the United States’ longest serving prisoner in solitary confinement – is just one of an estimated 80,000 people held in solitary confinement on any given day in the United States.

Hundreds of South Carolina Inmates Sent to Solitary Confinement Over Facebook

Dave Maass Electronic Frontier Foundation
Through a request under South Carolina’s Freedom of Information Act, EFF found that, over the last three years, prison officials have brought more than 400 disciplinary cases for “social networking”—almost always for using Facebook. The offenses come with heavy penalties. In 16 cases, inmates were sentenced to more than a decade in what’s called disciplinary detention, with at least one inmate receiving more than 37 years in isolation.

Angela Davis: I Always Find Hope in Struggle

Angela Davis, Amy Goodman, Juan Gonzalez Democracy Now!
Angela Davis on Prison Abolition, the War on Drugs, Why Social Movements Shouldn’t Wait on Obama, Solitary Confinement, Immigration Detention and "12 Years a Slave"

Tidbits - February 27, 2014

Portside
Reader Comments - Ukraine; Venezuela; Chokwe Lumumba; UAW-Volkswagen; North Carolina; State Pensions; Wisconsin; Prisons and Solitary Confinement; Jordan Davis; Announcements - Freedom Rider Diary - Book Signings - Coast-to-Coast - Mar 3 - 10; Celebration of Working Women & International Women's Day! - New York - Mar 7; Cecily McMillan Trail Postponed - Again - Motions to be presented Mar 19; Seventh CCDS/Kendra Alexander Foundation Banquet - Berkeley - Mar 30

The Science of Solitary Confinement

Joseph Stromberg Smithsonian.com
Solitary is both ineffective as a rehabilitation technique and indelibly harmful to the mental health. Researchers argue that just these hints of the damage wrought by solitary confinement—and the way it seems to make prisoners less-equipped to re-enter society after their sentence—indicate that it falls within a category of discipline banned by the eight amendment: cruel and unusual punishment.

Herman's House

Amy Schreiner OpEd News
There are more than 80,000 people, including thousands of juveniles 14 and 15 years old, being held in solitary confinement in this country right now. Hopefully this film will draw even more activists to the cause of ending this inhumane and harsh punishment.
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