Abolish Solitary Confinement!
  • Petitioned Pennsylvania

This petition was delivered to:

Pennsylvania

Abolish Solitary Confinement!

    1. Petition by

      Human Rights Coalition Pennsylvania

Solitary Confinement is Torture

Solitary confinement is the practice of confining a person in a tiny cell for 22-24 hrs per day. Human beings are social creatures, and we need regular contact with other humans in order to maintain our health, well-being and sanity. Depriving a person of nearly all contact with others can cause irreversible psychological damage in as little as 2 weeks. There is no research to support prison administrators' claims that solitary confinement serves any rehabilitative purpose; on the contrary, multiple studies confirm that solitary confinement is emotionally, physically and psychologically destructive and greatly reduces a prisoner's chances at successful reintegration into society. In isolation, the mentally ill become more unstable, while healthy prisoners begin to exhibit mental illness after only a short time. Approximately 50% of prison suicides occur in solitary confinement. Solitary confinement targets prisoners of color most severely, reinforcing oppressive and unconscionable patterns of racism. It is extensively used to retaliate against those who file lawsuits or speak out against violations of their human and constitutional rights. Ninety days in solitary can easily turn into 10 years or more. Guards in these units regularly abuse male and female prisoners physically, psychologically, and sexually, and deny them basic needs such as meals, shower, water, and visits.

 

Solitary Confinement is a Threat to Public Safety

At least 80,000 prisoners today are held in solitary confinement in the U.S., at least 2,500 of them in Pennsylvania state prisons. Most have little or no access to mental health care, and are forced to live in conditions that increase the likelihood of self-harm, suicide, and violence towards others. This danger ripples outward when prisoners who have been kept in solitary are released into general population, often resulting in violent altercations that are used as a justification to continually cycle them back into solitary. People max out their sentences in solitary confinement, and then without any re-socialization therapy are dumped back into society, harmed and unable to cope, resulting in increased violence and instability in our communities. The practice of solitary confinement is widespread, is significantly more expensive than regular prison housing, and our prisons' reliance on it as a means of intimidation and repression is causing tens of thousands of people in this country to suffer in torturous conditions for months, years, and decades at a time.

 

Solitary Confinement Must Be Abolished

Solitary confinement has become the dominant weapon in a war on prisoners that is in reality a war on our brothers, sisters, parents, children, families, and friends behind the walls. Torture is a crime and a serious threat to public safety and it must be abolished. The rampant use of solitary confinement and the construction of Supermax prisons are recent in history; this practice can and must be stopped. No other country in the world uses solitary confinement as much as the U.S., and other states have already taken steps to reduce its use. The Human Rights Coalition calls upon all people to join us in demanding the abolition of solitary confinement in Pennsylvania. Together we will build a society that respects the rights of all people, values rehabilitation, and does not believe in “throw-away” people.

Recent signatures

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    1. Reached 750 signatures

    Supporters

    Reasons for signing

    • Diane Fujino GOLETA, CA
      • 9 months ago

      We need to end human rights violations, end the practice of warehousing people, and end the use of imprisonment as a means of social control of poor communities of color. Move Maroon to humane conditions in general population now!

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    • Rick Riffel BEAVERTON, OR
      • 9 months ago

      It is torture. It is cruel and unusual punishment. It is as barbaric as it is outdated. The Founding Fathers of the United States were against it. The USA is now, among all nations, the most prolific and cruel in arresting and imprisoning its own population. Solitary confinement is a sign of the true intent of the law and government. That intent is a totalitarian Fascist dictatorship of hate towards all peoples of minority and ethnicity. Bear in mind that the majority of arrests, convictions and solitary confinements are not for violent major crimes, they are for nuisance crimes of breaking petty laws. Most of the law breakers do not hurt people. Many of the law makers and enforcers actually do hurt people, The ulterior motive of the law is not to protect and serve the people, but to abduct free people to keep the prisons full.

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    • mindy winer GIRARD, PA
      • 9 months ago

      My son was incarcerated in P.A. PRISONS and was kept in the HOLE 90 plus days in a row,Hes mentally challenged Thank God hes home now.I pray for all the inmates still there.,I will help to end this unjust,unnessary .b.s. anyway I can,God Bless us all!!!

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    • Bruce Livingston HAVERTOWN, PA
      • 10 months ago

      Solitary confinement is a gross breech of human rights. Pennsylvania is violating international law.

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    • christine sechrist ANNVILLE, PA
      • 10 months ago

      My husband whom i'm married to for over 35 yrs, had been charged with a sexual crime, and all he was doing, was trying to catch my niece and our babysitter stealing from us

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