Re-thinking solitary confinement’s place in prison and jail management remains one of the critical pieces of unfinished business in U.S. corrections. “In the 1980s, people promoted solitary confinement as a way to deal with violence in prisons,” said Judith Resnik, Yale Law School’s Arthur Liman professor of law, and the author of a new report on administrative segregation, released in August. “It is now seen as a problem itself that needs to be solved.
To bring journalists up to date, and provide an overview of current practice and thinking, since the 2018 fellowship program held at John Jay College, the John Jay Center on Media, Crime and Justice and the Jacob & Valeria Langeloth Foundation are organizing a two-day webinar.
Confirmed speakers so far include Rep. Rep. David Trone (D-MD) of a bipartisan bill to fund solitary confinement research; Dean Williams, head of the Colorado Department of Corrections; Amy Fettig of the Sentencing Project; Benny Boscio Jr., president of the New York City Corrections Officers Benevolent Association; and Dr. Mariposa McCall, formerly practicing psychiatrist at Pelican Bay facility in California.
The webinar is the highlight of a six-month offsite fellowship to enable journalists to explore the issue with scholars and practitioners, and carries a modest stipend. Selected fellows can pursue their research/story projects from their news outlets or offices.
Applicants for the Fellowship must be U.S.-based journalists (freelance or full-time) with a demonstrated interest in criminal justice reporting. In order to be considered, applicants should upload a short bio and a description of stories or projects that would benefit from participation in the fellowship. They must participate in the full program of the Sept. 27-29 symposium in order to qualify for a stipend.
*Note: Previous Fellows for the 2018 program are eligible to apply.