A series of photos shows the process of building the replica solitary cell
The replica cell was designed to be fully transportable.

Thank you to coalition members and community supporters.

Thanks to to the generous support of donors like you, DRNC’s End Solitary NC project successfully raised the necessary funds to build a replica solitary confinement cell.  The tangible symbol of hope and change raises awareness, educates and inspires collective action for prison reform in communities across North Carolina.

 This transportable replica cell can be brought to communities to shine a light on the inhumane practice of solitary confinement. It will help us work towards a more just and compassionate prison system in North Carolina.

How to get the replica cell to your next community event? 

Anyone can request the replica cell at their next event. This fully transportable life-sized model is ready to hit the road and help increase awareness in your community about the horrors of solitary confinement and the need for prison reform. Please consider a donation to assist with covering the cost of transporting the replica.

Why build a replica solitary confinement cell?

A crowd gathers to listen to a speaker with the replica cell in the background.
Used with permission from Emancipate NC.

Every day between 2,000 – 2,400 people in North Carolina, many people of color and/or people with disabilities, face 23-24 hours in solitary confinement.  They are confined to less than 50 square feet, isolated, eating near an open toilet. This practice raises urgent questions about human rights, dignity and justice.

Solitary confinement is a practice that remains shrouded in secrecy, with few people genuinely understanding the psychological and physical toll it takes on incarcerated individuals. By building this replica cell, we aim to make the hidden horrors of solitary confinement visible to the public. This will allow us to:

  • Dr. Craig Waleed is sitting on the bed in the model replica cell.
    Dr. Waleed demonstrates the cramped reality of solitary confinement from within the replica cell.

    Raise Awareness: The replica cell vividly shows the harsh reality of solitary confinement, making the issue more relatable and urgent to the public.

  • Educate Communities: It serves as a mobile educational tool, sparking discussions and raising awareness about the need for prison reform.
  • Engage Organizations and Religious Institutions: Partnering with various groups broadens the initiative’s reach, fostering a collective push for change.
  • Challenge Stereotypes: A replica cell offers a tangible, immersive experience that demonstrates the harsh realities of isolation, debunking misconceptions of its necessity or effectiveness, and highlighting the human cost.
  • Advocate for Policy Change: This powerful visual tool will allow someone to feel some of the horrors of solitary confinement which will catalyze individuals and communities to advocate for policy changes and reforms in the prison system.
  • Educate on Mental Health Impacts: Experiencing a few minutes in the model cell can provide a stark visualization of the extreme isolation and sensory deprivation individuals experience in solitary confinement. This life-sized model of an actual solitary confinement cell helps people understand the psychological toll such conditions can take, including increased anxiety, depression, and the potential for long-term mental health disorders.
  • Encourage Dialogue: By making the abstract and often invisible aspects of solitary confinement concrete, the replica fosters a space for open discussion among individuals, communities and policymakers, creating opportunities for education and advocacy towards reform.

By humanizing the experience through personal stories and testimonials, the End Solitary NC initiative aims to mobilize public opinion, spark conversations and advocate for reform or abolition of solitary confinement practices within the criminal justice system.

Request the replica cell

Date of event

If you can donate to DRNC to cover the cost of transporting the replica cell to your event, please donate and note the donation is for the replica cell or End Solitary NC.

Donate today and be a catalyst for change!

To help get this replica cell out into the community, please make a donation to DRNC @ disabilityrightsnc.org/take-action/donate and note that it is for the replica cell or EndSolitaryNC!

Questions or comments? Contact Craig Waleed, EdD, End Solitary NC project manager at craig.waleed@disabilityrightsnc.org.