Steve Champion, a prize-winning writer in the PEN Prison Writing contest, went on a hunger strike in the Adjustment Center of San Quentin’s death row from October 4 through October 19 in protest of the harsh conditions and long-term solitary confinement practices of the center. Solitary confinement is considered by human rights groups, such as PHR, to be a form of torture.
In the latest personal testimony on the cruelty of solitary confinement, one of the American hikers who was held hostage in Iran details how the conditions at California's Pelican Bay State Prison are at least as bad, and arguably even worse, than those he experienced in Iran. Inmates at Pelican Bay have been isolated for as long as 42 years, even as Physicians for Human Rights and other human rights organizations all call the practice torture.
Immigrants in detention facilities around the United States are often subjected to punitive and long-term solitary confinement and denied meaningful avenues of appeal, according to an investigation by PHR and Heartland Alliance’s National Immigrant Justice Center (NIJC).
NIJC and PHR surveyed conditions in more than a dozen detention centers and county jails that contract with US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Our report is the first comprehensive examination of the effects of solitary confinement on immigration detainees.
In the News
Watch a panel discussion led by Al Jazeera's Shihab Rattansi discussing the decision of the Obama administration to abandon prosecution of US personnel accused of torturing prisoners while in US custody. PHR's Kristine Huskey participates in the panel with former CIA director of counter-terrorism Robert Grenier and human rights activist Scott Horton.