Along with 129 other organizations AFSC submitted a statement on conditions in solitary confinement in US prisons before the United States Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights. This was the second hearing on solitary confinement and had excellent attendance from families, ex-prisoners and organizations seeking to abolish or restrict the use of solitary.
On Feb. 25, 2014, U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-ILL) chaired a hearing addressing the use of solitary confinement. This followed the first-ever congressional hearing on isolation, initiated by Sen. Durbin and held in June 2012, to examine the consequences of isolation in U.S. prisons. At that time, AFSC submitted a statement, based on our decades-long efforts challenging long-term solitary confinement.
Jules Lobel, Pitt Law Professor and Center for Constitutional Rights lawyer for Pelican Bay prisoners, will relate the inspiring story of inmates overcoming gang violence and racism as they fight for their human rights. Their struggle has included a hunger strike against California’s arbitrary system of solitary confinement, which frequently locks down prisoners in isolation for decades.
Tell California officials to resume meetings with prisoners
On Aug. 19, 2013, California prison officials won a court order saying they could force-feed dozens of inmates who have been on a hunger strike for six weeks over solitary confinement conditions. This order will not end the strike, or prevent other nonviolent demonstrations.
On Saturday June 22nd over 61 people, many from faith communities, gathered at East Liberty Presbyterian Church to learn more about solitary confinement in our prisons. The event was organized by the American Friends Service Committee PA (AFSC) and members of East Liberty Presbyterian Church and Community House Presbyterian Church.
“I’ve never seen a hearing on prison issues like this before,” was the buzz in the California State Capitol following the second hearing of the Assembly’s Public Safety Committee on solitary confinement cells officially called “security housing units.”
AFSC is a Quaker organization devoted to service, development, and peace programs throughout the world. Our work is based on the belief in the worth of every person, and faith in the power of love to overcome violence and injustice. Learn more
Where we work
AFSC has offices around the world. To see a complete list see the Where We Work page.