“Solitary confinement locks prisoners in a cell for 23 hours a day, sometimes with an hour alone in an exercise cage. Food is pushed through a small slot in the door. Meaningful socialization is completely denied, while phone calls and visitation are extremely limited. Those who have survived it describe the experience as being ‘buried alive’… Prolonged isolation destroys a person’s mind, body and spirit and thus flies in the face of basic Jewish values which embrace human dignity, rehabilitation and reintegration and reject excessive and destructive punishment.”
That’s how Rabbi Rachel Gartner describes prolonged solitary confinement, sometimes referred to as being put “in the hole.” She looks at it through a Jewish prism. Working with the National Religious Campaign Against Torture, comprised of numerous faith communities, Rabbi Gartner understands that torture in prisons is rampant.
The International Day against Torture, on the 26th, will soon be here. Please remember that being buried alive is a terrible way to treat any human being.
[originally posted on 13 Jun 2014]