There are nearly 2,000 men and women in long-term solitary confinement in the Arizona Department of Corrections (ADC). The conditions are torturous – a minimum of 23 hours per day alone in an 8′ by 10′ cell for years at a time – and cause long-lasting psychological damage. On December 1, 2014, ADC opened the new maximum-security facility at ASPC Lewis in Buckeye, Arizona. This new facility was modeled after Arizona’s supermax prison facilities, SMU I and Browning Unit and failing any sea change by ADC Director Ryan, will keep prisoners in their cells all but 6 hours per week.
• In response to this decision, AFSC Arizona asked prisoners who daily endure solitary confinement about their conditions, the impacts of isolation, and their thoughts on ADC’s plan to expand the use of solitary confinement in Arizona prisons. Their responses were compiled in AFSC’s report, Still Buried Alive: Arizona Prisoner Testimonies on Isolation in Maximum-Security (2014).
• For more groundbreaking reporting on solitary confinement, read Buried Alive: Solitary Confinement in Arizona’s Prisons and Jails (2007), and Lifetime Lockdown: How Isolation Conditions Impact Prisoner Reentry (2012).
• AFSC Arizona’s priority areas in the fight to end solitary confinement are mentally ill and juvenile prisoners.
ADVOCATING FOR PRISONERS’ RIGHTS
AFSC Arizona is committed to lifting up the voices of prisoners and standing with the incarcerated and their families. AFSC Arizona provides prisoner resources, grievance information, and reentry materials to the hundreds of prisoners who contact our office. If you or a loved one is incarcerated, AFSC Arizona is always happy to hear from you.