Unlock the Box: End Solitary Confinement

Our prisons are a reflection of our values as a society and a nation, and should uphold human rights and respect the dignity and worth of all people.

Unlock the Box is a national advocacy campaign aimed at ending solitary confinement in all U.S. prisons, jails, detention facilities, and juvenile facilities, and bringing the United States into full compliance with the UN’s Mandela Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners within 10 years.

Campaign efforts led by DC Justice Lab will advance legislation that significantly reduces reliance on solitary confinement and use of Black Box restraints in local detention facilities, ensuring that policymakers, organizers, and the public understand that the use of solitary confinement does not make incarcerated people safer or healthier.

The Dangers of Solitary Confinement

  • Solitary confinement is a measure of the wider punitive culture in our criminal legal system that has fueled mass incarceration. Working to end solitary confinement helps challenge this culture, and the incarceration crisis it has created.
  • Solitary confinement causes extreme and sometimes permanent damage to the individuals who endure it, and to the families and communities to which they will return.
  • Confinement is also costly and counterproductive, increasing recidivism while failing to reduce prison/jail violence.
  • People of color are disproportionately subjected to solitary confinement, even beyond their disproportionate representation in the general prison population. Ending solitary confinement demands confronting these inequities and the racial bias driving them.

See this information and more at unlocktheboxcampaign.org.