Hell Is A Very Small Place
14th & V | Langston Room | April 13, 2016 | 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

The UN Special Rapporteur on Torture has called the use of solitary confinement cruel and unusual punishment that is often tantamount to torture. President Obama and Justice Anthony Kennedy have both decried the practice. And yet the United States keeps more than 80,000 people in solitary on any given day in its prisons and jails.

Please join us for the DC launch of Hell Is a Very Small Place: Voices from Solitary Confinement, a new book from the New Press edited by Jean Casella, James Ridgeway, and Sarah Shourd. The book provides firsthand accounts from 16 current and formerly incarcerated people of what it is like to be kept completely alone in a small cell, often for years or decades on end—offering a perspective that should inform any debate about human rights and prison reform.

The evening will feature two of the book’s editors and two contributors who survived solitary confinement, as well as advocates reading from the work of contributors still in prison. Discussion and book signing will follow the readings. This event is co-sponsored by the ACLU National Prison Project, National Religious Campaign Against Torture, and Solitary Watch.

  • Jean Casella and James Ridgeway, co-founders of Solitary Watch and co-editors of the book.
  • Five Mualimm-ak, founder and director of Incarcerated Nation Corp.
  • Galen Baughman, 2015 Soros Justice Fellow
  • Laura Markle Downton, Director of U.S. Policy, National Religious Campaign Against Torture
  • David Fathi, Director, ACLU National Prison Project
  • Special invited guest: Juan Mendez, UN Special Rapporteur on Torture 

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