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Apr 8, 2021

Beyond Prisons Editor Ellis Maxwell introduces a new series called "Beyond Solitary," exploring solitary confinement as a site of struggle and featuring interviews with currently and formerly incarcerated people and their loved ones.

In recent years, due to tireless work from individuals and organizations around the world, we’ve seen a growing understanding of the horrors of isolation. Long-term solitary confinement—a practice widely used in U.S. prisons and hardly anywhere else in the world—is torturous, causing major physical and psychological harm to prisoners.

In this series we dive deep into the importance of solitary as a site of struggle. Prison officials force people into solitary—which is often called “the prison within the prison,” or simply, “the box”—for many reasons: to silence influential voices, to deter movements towards consciousness and an abolitionist critique of the carceral state, to re-inscribe the rule of patriarchy and white supremacy, to suppress inside organizing, and to prevent uprisings. But the repressive elements of solitary breed resistance, from political education, inside prisons and in coordination with outside movements; to sustained collective legal battles; to strategic physical self-defense.

This series includes conversations with currently and formerly incarcerated people, many of whom identify themselves as political or politicized prisoners, from across the country, with a rotating cast of hosts. The show notes for each episode will include information on how to learn more and get involved with campaigns led by organizations that our guests are affiliated with.

Please bear with us as we navigate audio quality issues, and other challenges of recording through prison walls. We hope this series can be a fissure in the walls silencing the millions of incarcerated people in the United States.


Hosted and edited by Ellis Maxwell

"Beyond Solitary" series music by Alicia Lopez-Torres, Remy Erkel, and Ellis Maxwell

Beyond Prisons is a podcast created by Kim Wilson and Brian Sonenstein

Website & volunteers managed by Victoria Nam

Theme music by Jared Ware

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