Silenced: Voices From Solitary
Sept. 4, 2021 – Jan. 30, 2022
Silenced: Voices from Solitary confronts the difficult topic of solitary confinement and isolation within the United States prison system by
forwarding the work of a group of talented artists, many of whom have
experienced solitary firsthand. Bearing witness to their images, words, videos,
and personal testimonies, the exhibition provides an opportunity to learn about the practice and impact of solitary confinement on the residents of Michigan, and beyond.
The Open MI Door campaign recognizes MDOC employees commonly experience trauma and harm while working within the prisons. We are seeking input and solutions from current and former employees on how we can improve the conditions for all impacted individuals.
Solitary: The Family Experience
Despite its name, “solitary
confinement” impacts more than just the person on the inside. Family members
suffer greatly when a loved one is sent to isolated confinement for more than
20 hours a day. Despite the well-known dangers associated with “the hole” –
extreme loneliness, psychiatric distress, increased self-harm, and high rates
of suicide – families are often cut off from visits and communications with
loved ones during this time.
We would like to invite those who have experienced solitary confinement in Michigan to share your story and offer solutions.
The goal of the Open MI Door campaign is to end solitary confinement in all Michigan prisons, jails, and juvenile detention facilities, bringing our state into full compliance with the UN’s Mandela Rules.
We define solitary confinement for adults as confinement for more than 20 hours per day, alone or with a cellmate, without meaningful human contact.
We define solitary for youth as involuntary confinement alone in a cell, room, or other area for more than 4 hours.
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