Letters From The Hole: Suicide In Solitary Confinement

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for solitary2.jpg
The New York Civil Liberties Union recently released a report outlining the "inhumane, arbitrary use of solitary confinement" in New York state prisons.

Included in the report are handwritten letters from several inmates placed in segregated housing (solitary confinement) for various -- in many cases non-violent -- reasons. The letters describe what life is like for those locked in a cage for 23 hours a day.

The Voice will be publishing several of the letters in a series called
Letters From the Hole.

Today's inmate: An inmate identified only as "Mr. Diaz" was in solitary confinement at Upstate Correctional Facility when he took his own life. Diaz, according to two other inmates, didn't speak English and the prison didn't provide him with a translator -- he was unable to ask for mental health services. The inmates wrote letters to prison officials on Diaz's behalf requesting help for their fellow inmate. Help never came, and Diaz committed suicide on May 21.

See the letters below.

Diaz Suicide 1 Redacted

Diaz Suicide 2 Redacted

Sponsor Content

My Voice Nation Help

I have a grand son upstate and he has had his civil rights violated many time and was assaulted by three guards.  I am pushing every button I know to stop this abuse of prisoners. They are human beings no matter what their crime.   Remember it could be your family member there and it does happen .  Walk a mile in someones shoes before bringing judgement..  It is very inhumane like i had someone say  lock yourself in a closet and sit on the floor and wait for hours for someone to go by and ask for food , drinks, toilet paper.   I myself have been treated very disrespectful when visiting here and other prisons.

Now Trending

New York Concert Tickets

From the Vault