Hell Is a Very Small Place: Voices from Solitary Confinement

The UN Special Rapporteur on Torture has criticized the use of solitary confinement as cruel and unusual punishment that is tantamount to torture. President Obama has decried the practice. And yet the United States keeps more than 80,000 people in solitary.

Please join us for the 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 alone in a cell—offering a perspective that should inform any debate about human rights and prison reform. Two of the book’s editors and three contributors who survived solitary confinement will speak to these issues.


  • Jean Casella and James Ridgeway are 2012 Soros Justice Fellows and cofounders of Solitary Watch.
  • Dolores Canales is a 2014 Soros Justice Fellow and cofounder of California Families to Abolish Solitary Confinement.
  • Galen Baughman is a 2015 Soros Justice Fellow and works with the Human Rights Defense Center.
  • Five Mualimm-ak is cofounder of Incarcerated Nation Corp. 
Date: March 15, 2016
Time: 6:008:00 p.m.
Sponsored by: