New York Campaign for Alternatives to Isolated Confinement
We will be joined by Cynthia Williams, a 2015 Beyond the Bars of Justice Fellow at Columbia University, who spent time in a federal facility and who will speak about how arbitrary and dehumanizing the system is, how she coped and how people end up in solitary confinement. She will also speak about the New York Campaign for Alternatives to Isolated Confinement and will inspire us to get involved and to effect positive change.
This event is free and open to the public. WESPAC has 10 copies of the book Hell is a Very Small Place: Voices from Solitary Confinement in our office that are available now ahead of the event for people to read and become more familiar with this issue. Please call to arrange pick up. The United Nations has defined solitary confinement as a form of torture. Free will offerings to support Cynthia and this work will be requested. For more information, call 914.449.6514 or email [email protected].
Please do not remain silent about Solitary Confinement while 80-100,000 human beings are trapped and remain invisible each year for infractions as minor as possession of too many postage stamps. Create an opportunity for others to learn the truth about solitary confinement. SWASC Social Workers Against Solitary Confinement has created two 8 minute videos that encapsulates what people need to know.
Take Action. We need everyday people, like you and me, to show these videos to our informal and formal networks. Use your smart phone. Keep it Simple. Discussion will automatically follow from these provocative and thoughtful presentations.
Johnny Perez: Three years in Solitary
Mary Buser – The Helping Professions & Solitary Confinement
We also created a petition for people to sign asking the governing commission to reconsider current practices we believe to be unethical and human torture.
Website Resource: Social Workers Against Solitary Confinement
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National Networking Conference Call on the third Monday of the month at 7pm EST.
One hour zoom presentation:
Social Workers Against Solitary Confinement: Undoing Racism in the Criminal Justice System. (2/18)
This video (1hour) offers a brief U. S. history of structural racism and discussion of solitary confinement and specifically the issue of dual loyalty for mental health professionals.
Sandra Bernabei, LCSW is a co-convener and steering committee member of SWASC as well as a community organizer and a social worker in private practice in Westchester and NYC. She is the past-president of NASW-NYC.
Sandy is the founding member of the Antiracist Alliance.
Marguerita Johnson Tolson BSW, CASAC-T is a graduate student at Fordham University Graduate School of Social Services. She is completing an internship with Social Workers Against Solitary Confinement.
“We will have to repent in this generation not merely for the hateful words and actions of the bad people but for the appalling silence of the good people.” Martin Luther King Jr