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Help Stop Torture in NC Prisons

Prolonged solitary confinement is barbaric. It must stop.

The scientific and international communities have determined that solitary confinement for more than 15 days is torture. Yet, nearly 3000 people live in solitary confinement in NC prisons. Many of them have untreated mental health disabilities. 98% will be released back into our communities.

About Stop Torture in NC Prisons

DRNC launched Stop Torture in NC Prisons in January 2021. Stop torture in NC prisons is a campaign to end the use of solitary confinement in NC prisons for:

  • People 21 and under
  • Pregnant people
  • People with diagnosed serious mental health disabilities, disability, or substance use disorder
  • Indefinite periods of time
  • Periods of more than 15 consecutive days.

Over the course of the next few months, Attorneys Susan Pollitt and Luke Woollard will take you behind the walls of solitary confinement units in NC Prisons. You will see the injustices and cruelty that happens to prisoners there. You will also hear directly from those prisoners. The message is clear: solitary confinement for more than 15 days is torture. It needs to end. Nearly 3000 prisoners in NC live in solitary confinement at any given time. A disproportionate number of inmates living in solitary confinement are people of color. Many of them have mental health disabilities. Their symptoms are exacerbated by the conditions in the unit. 99% of those living in solitary confinement units will released back into our communities, some directly from solitary.

This campaign will give you an inside look at the cruelty and injustices that take place in NC’s Prisons for those who live in solitary confinement. This campaign is part of a recent reform effort to increase racial equity and fairness in NC’s criminal justice system. On Dec. 15,2020, Governor Cooper’s Task Force for Racial Equity in Criminal Justice (TREC) submitted a set of recommendations, including the recommendation that the Governor adopt the Mandela Rules.

The Mandela Rules are the UN’s recommendations for the use of solitary confinement. These rules forbid the use of solitary confinement on people with mental health disabilities, juveniles, and other at-risk groups. They also define any time spent in solitary confinement beyond 15 days as torture.

Voices From Solitary

This powerful video will open your eyes to the shocking reality of solitary confinement. Hear directly from NC prisoners suffering this torture. Their words are all they have.
Warning: This video contains descriptions of torture that some viewers might find disturbing. All names have been changed to protect the identities of our clients.

View this video with audio description.

How can you help?

We need to end this practice in NC and you can help. Please share these materials widely and help spread the word: Solitary confinement for more than 15 days is torture. It needs to end.

#StopTortureinNCPrisons

Stop Torture in NC’s Prisons

In the first blog post of a five-part series, attorney Luke Woollard takes you behind the doors of solitary confinement units and describes how solitary is torture.

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Racial Disparities in Solitary

Stop Torture in NC’s Prisons, Part 2. Another heinous side of solitary confinement – people of color are punished more severely and for longer in solitary than their white counterparts.

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Young Adults in Solitary Confinement

Supervising attorney Susan Pollitt discusses how developing brains are particularly vulnerable to this barbaric practice.

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Minor Infractions Lead to Torture in NC Prisons

In the 4th installment of DRNC’s special series on solitary confinement, Luke Woollard examines how minor infractions lead to this torture.

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Spread the Word!

Solitary confinement for more than 15 days is Torture. It needs to stop. Share this flyer widely.

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NC TREC Recommendations

Read the recommendations that Governor Cooper’s Task Force for Racial Equity in Criminal Justice (TREC) submitted on Dec. 15, 2020 to improve racial equity and fairness in NC’s criminal justice system. 

Learn More >

Learn more about DRNC’s prisons and jails work.

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