AFSC Releases “Survivors Manual” By and For Prisoners in Solitary Confinement

From: SolitaryWatch, July 31st, 2012
by Jean Casella and James Ridgeway

The American Friends Service Committee has put out a new edition of the vital publication Survivors Manual: Surviving in Solitary — A Manual Written By and For People Living in Control Units. The volume is a collection of letters, stories, poetry, and practical advice on surviving solitary confinement in prisons. AFSC released the following announcement last week:

Solitary confinement, characterized by 23-hour a day lockout with minimal exercise and lack of human contact, affects an estimated 100,000 prisoners in federal and state prisons in almost every state. Thus the need for “Survivors Manual,” which was first issued in 1998, is even more vital.

In this powerful collection of voices from solitary, people currently or formerly held in isolation vividly describe their conditions and their daily lives. They also write about how they struggle to keep mind, body, and soul together in an environment that is designed to break them down. Many also analyze the political, economic, and social forces that shape their torturous situation. The collection also includes some stunning artwork and poetry.

A PDF of the manual is available online at the following link:

http://www.afsc.org/document/survivors-manual-surviving-solitary

Copies can also be purchased for $3 each at the following site:

http://www.quakerbooks.org/survivors_manual.php

[thanks to FFIP for alerting us!]

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AFSC Seeks Stories of Isolation and Torture in U.S. Prisons

April 4, 2010
From: SolitaryWatch

by Jean Casella and James Ridgeway

In 2001, the Prison Watch Project of the American Friends Service Committee published Torture in U.S. Prisons: Evidence of U.S. Human Rights Violations, a unique collection of first-hand testimonies from prisoners. (A pdf copyof is available here.) Now, Prison Project coordinator Bonnie Kerness has put out a call for submissions for a new edition.

AFSC, through its STOPMAX Campaign, has resolutely identified prolonged solitary confinement as a form of torture and a violation of human rights, so material from current or former prisoners who have experienced solitary will be most welcome. The announcement is reproduced in full below–please help spread the word.

The American Friends Service Committee Prison Watch Project is planning to update the Fall 2001 “Torture in US Prisons – Evidence of US Human Rights Violations.” We are seeking testimonies from men, women and children relating to the use of extended isolation and devices of torture (use of force, chemical and physical restraints, other living conditions, forced double celling in isolation, etc.). We will also be accepting drawings and photos.

Our deadline is June 15th. We will only be able to acknowledge by form letter. Unless otherwise authorized the publication will use first name, last initial and facility only. Please send to

Bonnie Kerness,
AFSC,
89 Market St.,
6th floor,
Newark, NJ 07102

Please make this message available to people concerned with the prison system and send it to friends and loved ones in prison. Without your input, this publication would not be possible. Our gratitude.

Sincerely,
AFSC Prison Watch Project