OAR Executive Director Derwin Overton Discusses Surviving Solitary with Author Danielle Rudes

About Surviving Solitary

Twenty to forty percent of the US prison population will spend time in restricted housing units—or solitary confinement. These separate units within prisons have enhanced security measures, and thousands of staff control and monitor the residents. Though commonly assumed to be punishment for only the most dangerous behaviors, in reality, these units may also be used in response to minor infractions. In Surviving Solitary, Danielle S. Rudes offers an unprecedented look inside RHUs—and a resounding call to more vigorously confront the intentions and realities of these structures. As the narratives unfold we witness the slow and systematic damage the RHUs inflict upon those living and working inside, through increased risk, arbitrary rules, and strained or absent social interactions. Rudes makes the case that we must prioritize improvement over harm. Residents uniformly call for more humane and dignified treatment. Staff yearn for more expansive control. But, as Rudes shows, there also remains fierce resilience among residents and staff and across the communities they forge—and a perpetual hope that they may have a different future.

                                        About the Author

Danielle S. Rudes is a Professor in the Department of Criminal Justice & Criminology at Sam Houston State University and the Deputy Director of the Center for Advancing Correctional Excellence. She was formerly an Associate Professor of Criminology, Law and Society at George Mason University.

This event is free, but you will need to register. We’ll send you the Zoom link shortly before the event.

Surviving Solitary is available for purchase. Save 20% on this book (plus free shipping for North American orders) when you order on our website using discount code SOLITARY20-FM.

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