Mr. Kenyatta is a prisoner rights activist and businessman who was released from prison 13 years ago. He spent time in solitary confinement at both of Ohio’s maximum-security prisons and was part of the ACLU lawsuit, Austin v Wilkinson, which drastically changed prisoner classification in Ohio to ensure more humane living conditions.
By Dan Rogan
Orange is the New Black – the binge-worthy, Peabody Award Winning, Netflix series – returns with Season 4 on June 17. Last season, the fictional Litchfield Correctional Facility faced closing its doors due to lack of funding and is soon after taken over by a private prison corporation.
This post is part of the joint report between Disability Rights Ohio and the ACLU of Ohio – “Shining a Light on Solitary Confinement: Why Ohio Needs Reform.” Take action to reform solitary confinement in Ohio.
Justin committed a crime. He was found guilty of aggravated murder and robbery, along with two others.
By Dan Rogan
“We must talk seriously about criminal justice reform because of how close it is connected to racial justice,” said Piper Kerman, discussing the intrinsic relationship between the two issues. Piper’s words struck a chord over 300 attendees at this year’s Ed Likover Memorial Lecture.
By Dan Rogan
Prison is not the easiest topic to make entertaining, but The Washington Post called “Orange is the New Black” “the best TV show about prison ever made.” Of course “Orange is the New Black” is not all entertainment, and not entirely fiction.
By Dan Rogan
Are you hooked on the Peabody Award-winning, critically acclaimed Netflix series “Orange is the New Black?”
The stories of main character Piper Chapman’s time in prison have been shown on screens across the country, and brought prison issues to the conscience of the general public.
Often, when we as a society talk about reforming our criminal justice system, it’s about finding jobs for individuals released from prison or diverting them to treatment in the first place. Rarely do we focus on the conditions of incarceration and its impact on people once they’re released.
If you go without food for just eight hours, your body will decrease its use of energy, the heart will pump slower, you will produce less heat, and hunger pains build.
Earlier this year, the ACLU of Ohio watched in dismay as people in Ohio’s super-maximum security prison in Youngstown went on a hunger strike.
It was a chilly October last year when my colleague and I visited the super-maximum security (super-max) Ohio State Penitentiary in Youngstown. Before entering, I thought there was nothing more restrictive than the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility, aka Lucasville prison. I could not have been more wrong.
You are locked inside a room the size of your bathroom for 23 hours a day and let outside for one hour, but only when it’s warm and only in a cage the size of a walk-in closet. Your meals are eaten inside this room, and there is limited reading and television access.
It doesn’t matter whether you call it local control, disciplinary control, administrative segregation, or restrictive housing, it’s extreme isolation. Putting people in solitary confinement is something the U.S. Supreme Court has deemed “physical and mental torture.”
Since 2012, Ohio has operated a tiered system in which prisoners are given a level ranging from 5b down to 1.
Putting people in isolation is devastating and makes recovery next to impossible. If you didn’t have a mental illness going into isolation, it’s likely you will have one coming out.
Research shows that prolonged solitary causes a persistent and heightened state of anxiety, nervousness, headaches, insomnia, nightmares, and confused thought processes.
Ever since smoke rose from the Sistine Chapel heralding Pope Francis as leader of the Roman Catholic Church, he has made headlines for addressing controversial social issues. So, it was no surprise when he recently discussed mass incarceration, he did it with the gusto politicians have never been unable to muster.
By Shakyra Diaz
This is the first in a series of posts on the topic of juvenile shackling.
‘Shackling has made me feel like an animal, and it makes me feel like I can’t express myself. It is a distraction to me because rather than focusing on what I have to say, I’m focused on what other people are thinking of me, and on avoiding body movements that are painful and uncomfortable because of the shackles.
By Shakyra Diaz
This is the eighth in a series of posts focusing on issues we will be tackling at the 2014 ACLU of Ohio biennial conference, Resist. Reclaim. Restore Your Rights!
We have all heard the saying, ‘It takes a village to raise a child.’
Imagine spending 22 – 24 hours a day in a room the size of a parking space. TVs, radios, and reading materials may or may not be available. Visits from family are strictly limited, if permitted at all. Almost all human contact occurs while in restraints or through a barrier.Tags: Solitary Confinement
By Nick Worner
On April 3, 2014, the ACLU of Ohio toured the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility (SOCF), a high security prison located in southern Ohio better known by the moniker “Lucasville.”
Below are some reflections on our visit to SOCF, from three of the staff members who visited the facility.