August 12 –October 29, 2016
The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center is hosting the National Religious Campaign Against Torture’s (NRCAT) Solitary Confinement Cell Experience. The exhibit, in partnership with the Islamic Center of Greater Cincinnati, is a part of NRCAT’s nationwide interfaith campaign to expose and end the torture of solitary confinement in prisons, jails and detention centers across the U.S.
Solitary confinement has a variety of names: "the box," segregation (“seg”), “the hole." On any given day, an estimated 80,000 to 100,000 incarcerated people, disproportionately adults and youth of color, are held in conditions of solitary confinement. That number does not include individuals in local jails, juvenile facilities or in military and immigration detention.
The Solitary Confinement Cell Experience, consisting of a replica cell with audio from a maximum security prison in Maine and panels highlighting personal stories, has been on display at the Ecumenical Advocacy Days in Washington DC, the Islamic Circle of North America’s Annual Convention in Baltimore, the United Church of Christ Synod in Cleveland, the Pennsylvania Council of Churches’ Statewide Conference on Mass Incarceration and the National Catholic Youth Conference in Indianapolis. The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center is the first museum to host the exhibit.
The Solitary Confinement Cell Experience highlights six personal stories of individuals held in solitary confinement cells, including:
· Evie Litwok (spent seven weeks in solitary confinement)
· Five Omar Mualimm-ak (spent five years in solitary confinement)
· Judith Vasquez (spent three years in solitary confinement)
· Kirk Gudenerson (spent 12 hours in solitary confinement at age 17)
· Kalief Browder (spent two years in solitary confinement beginning at age 16)
The Solitary Confinement Cell Experience is included in general admission.