Seclusion & Solitary Confinement

“But i was lock down 23 hours by my self because i guess we couldn’t be around each other.  We had more thingz over their like comssary n bookz but our visits was no longer contact.  So 8 ½ half months i forgot wat my mother smelled like but her letterz brought a lil of her sent back.  I waited for dem 8 ½ months n than i saw i wasn’t goin home unless I spoke and told.” (A.B.)

“Most people are in the hole.  This is the lowest number of inmates on AA that they’ve had.  It used to be around 75 to 85 juviniles.  Now its down to 50 juviniles counting inmates in the hole.  There are alot of inmates in the hole that are serving 6 months down there.  They get hit with gang charges and extortion charges.” (G.W.)

“So 6 months after I turned 18 I was in and out of the hole, catching tickets, and nobody liked me but the company I kept.” (D.W.)

“So 6 more months down the line I ended up at 3 different institutions within a year not mentioning about 10 hole shots, doing more than 9 months in the hole on different occasions.” (D.W.)

“J.H. was sent to Madison (Correctional Institution) and he spent his first two and a half years in isolation because he didn’t know how to deal with what was going on and was acting out.” (L.S.)

“They were sometimes used to set someone up so that he went to the hole (solitary confinement).” (J.H.)

“My time in solitary confinement has not been easy at all. I was placed in a super max institution when I was 20yrs old into a place that is locked down 23 hours a day 5 days out of the week, and the reminder days are 24hour lock down. Hearing people around me who have lost their sanity, screaming, and punching doors, and walls, because they can’t handle the pressure of being trapped inside a cell that’s the same size as a closet for years, seeing people throw, and smear their feces on themselves or others, from correctional officers who try to treat us as animals instead of human beings that we are. I haven’t touched my family in over 5yrs. I’ve gotten into a lot of trouble, because I refused to be broken or treated as an animal, so I displayed violent behavior because at that time in my life that was my only method I knew, because I was never taught another route really.” (A.W.)

“My experience of solitary confinement is a bad one due to me being in the hole all the time, or should I say when I used to be in the hole. Well it goes like this, when you’re in the hole you are only allowed 1 hour out of your cell to go to recreation and use the shower. Even going to those places you are and cuffed and shackled. It’s the most devastating feeling because you are already in prison and you think it can’t get any worse, but it can because that’s what solitary confinement is. You can possibly be mistreated in the hole by your cell mate or the correctional officers and they will get away with it, but only if you let them.” (D.N.)

“The first 2 years when I first got to prison I really didn’t care about anything.  For the past 3 years I’ve been in prison, I been in solitary confinement 10 times.  Most of the reasons I came to the hole because of disrespect to the c/o (officers) and fighting.  As a youngster at 18 years old with 8 years you feel like can’t nobody tell you nothing and you can’t let other inmates play you like you’re a punk so you got to prove them wrong.” (A.R.)

“In solitary confinement, you’re lock down 23 in 1 hour to get rec., shower.  Every 30 days you get 1 phone call.  They put 3 people in a 2 men cell if you’re lucky you don’t have to sleep on the floor.  They give you smaller portions of food so you lose weight.  If you’re lucky again you get in a cell with somebody you cool with or somebody from your city because of city wars people gang bang heavy in jail so that also get you in trouble.  Being in the hole you can’t get nothing you need to get done down here so it’s better not to come to the hole.” (A.R.)

“My son has been in solitary confinement for three months.  He has not been around anyone whatsoever.  I’m worried about the effect that has on the juvenile mind, that he would be tempted to do almost anything to release some of that pain he’s going through mentally.  I’m scared that no one is there to help him or to talk to him and be his friend.” (S.W.)

“In those months I did 3 local controls and up to 6 months in the hole (solitary confinement).” (M.B.)