Campaign to End Torture In Washington, D.C.

We must end torture in D.C.

Washington, D.C.’s Department of Corrections uses solitary confinement three times more than the national average.  The United Nations, through their Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners, identified prolonged solitary confinement (isolation for longer than 15 days, 22 hours a day) as torture.

On October 18, 2023, D.C. Councilmember Brianne Nadeau introduced the Eliminating Restrictive and Segregated Enclosures (“ERASE”) Solitary Confinement Act of 2023 to put an end to the use of solitary confinement in D.C.’s jails.  The Council Committee on the Judiciary and Public Safety now needs to hold a hearing on the bill and move it forward.  To join us in pushing for passage of the ERASE bill in Council Period 25, you can:

  • learn about the harms of solitary confinement
  • support local efforts to end the practice

What is Solitary Confinement?

  • Solitary confinement is the practice of isolating and/or confining a person for 22 hours or more per day. 
  • Isolation is being kept alone with no meaningful human interaction. 
  • Confinement is restricting a person’s mobility by holding them in a limited physical space.
  • Prolonged solitary confinement is holding someone in solitary confinement for more than 15 days at 22 hours a day. 
  • United States correctional facilities commonly use solitary confinement for many purposes but under a variety of pseudonyms, including administrative segregation, segregated housing units (SHU), restrictive housing, disciplinary segregation, protective custody, medical stay-in-place or lockdown, room confinement, safe cells, or suicide watch. 

How is Solitary Confinement Used in D.C.?

How is Solitary Confinement Used in D.C.?

What is the Unlock the Box D.C. Coalition? 

The Unlock the Box DC Coalition is a group of transformative justice advocates working to end the use of solitary confinement in all its forms in the District of Columbia. The DC Coalition is part of the Unlock the Box national campaign to end solitary confinement in the United States. The national campaign includes partners from 19 states and D.C. working to transform incarceration and end the use of solitary confinement nationwide. 

Join Us

  • Share your contact information so we can get let you know when it is time to take action
  • Tell us your personal experiences with solitary confinement

Watch the Hearing on the 2022 ERASE bill.

In October 2023, the Unlock the Box-DC Coalition rallied in support of the introduction of the 2023 ERASE bill.

Sign up for national updates