Solitary Confinement in Connecticut

Monday, May 22, 2017 6:30 PM - 8:00 PM

Join a screening of The Worst of the Worst: Portrait of a Supermax Prison (2012; 30m), a film created by the Yale Visual Law Project, followed by a panel discussion. On any given day there are over 80,000 people in the U.S., including Connecticut, who are held in solitary confinement. The documentary takes us inside Northern Correctional Institution located in Somers and focuses on the effects of solitary confinement on the people who are isolated in their small prison cells for 23 hours a day, 7 days a week. Stories of family members and the impact of working in a supermax prison are also shared.

The panelists after the film include survivors of solitary confinement and advocates for reform. They are:
Joe Thompson (aka Joe Grit$) is a local musician and activist. He reaches out to young people in the community by coaching JBA basketball and Pop Warner football. He is a survivor of prolonged isolation having spent four years at Northern Correctional Institution on 23 hours per day lockdown.

Judy Meikle is an educator and long-time advocate for racial justice and prison abolition. She is active in the prison ministry of her Quaker faith community, traveling through New York State, Connecticut, and New Jersey and is a founding member of the Solitary Confinement Project at Wilton Quaker Meeting. Judy works as a Project Manager at Co-creating Effective and Inclusive Organizations in New Haven.

Albert Hsu is a founding member of the Solitary Confinement Project at Wilton Quaker Meeting where he also serves as treasurer. After a successful 25-year career on Wall Street, he was convicted and spent 2½ years in two Connecticut state prisons. After his release, he was able to rebuild his life and is now active in his Quaker meeting and as a co-facilitator of a support group in Westport for individuals suffering from bipolar disorder and depression. 

The Solitary Confinement Project is a working group of Wilton Monthly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers). The mission of the working group is to engage in activities to bring relief to those suffering the torture of prolonged isolation in Connecticut prisons and to end the practice in the state.

Community Partner: Wilton Monthly Meeting (Quakers)

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