First-Ever Congressional Hearing on Solitary Confinement

23 Hour Fast to End 23 Hour Solitary

On June 19, 2012, the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Human Rights held a hearing entitled "Reassessing Solitary Confinement:  The Human Rights, Fiscal, and Public Safety Consequences".  The hearing was the first time Congress specifically addressed solitary confinement and successfully inspired national and local media coverage.    

We invited NRCAT supporters to not only to attend the hearing in D.C., but also to join us in a nationwide fast for 23 hours prior to the hearing - symbolizing the 23 hours prisoners spend in solitary confinement cells per day.  Hundreds of people of faith across the nation participated in fasting from 1pm on Monday, June 18 until 12 noon on Tuesday, June 19.  NRCAT's Executive Director Richard Killmer and Justice Fellowship's President Pat Nolan discussed the 23-hour fast and the Senate hearing in "The Need to Restrict Prolonged Solitary Confinement"  in The Hill's Congress Blog.  After the emotional and powerful hearing, NRCAT convened a group of religious leaders of various faiths in the United Methodist Building on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., to break bread to end the fast.  Watch video and read the religious leaders remarks for the breaking of the fast here.   

Witness testimony at the hearing included: 

Statements submitted for the record from religious organizations:

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