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Tuesday, 5 July 2016

Writing is his redemption after spending his youth behind bars

By the age of 19, Shaka Senghor was behind bars after his teen years as a drug dealer ended with a death on his hands. Senghor says his story is all too familiar for many young black men. The author of “Writing My Wrongs: Life, Death, and Redemption in an American Prison” sits down with Jeffrey Brown.

Letters from the inside: Solitary confinement in the US - The Listening ...

It's been called one of the biggest human rights issues Americans have never heard of.

More than 80,000 people in the US are held in solitary confinement on any given day, with underreporting being one of the main issues for the lack of information about conditions and effects.

Not only does the media rarely get access, but popular culture also works against people in solitary confinement, demonising them and portraying them as 'bogey men', psycopaths and killers that need to be put away.

But is this pop culture over-simplification of a real issue in the American justice system damaging journalists' chances to uncover a blanketed story? And what is being hidden under the pretense of the 'Natural Born Killer'?

Talking us through the story are: James Ridgeway, cofounder, Solitary Watch; Johnny Perez, Urban Justice Centre; Ricky Jones, radio host, 'Unlocked'; and David Fathi, National Prison Project, American Civil Liberties Union.