The Virginia Coalition on Solitary Confinement
The Virginia Coalition on Solitary Confinement's mission is to end the torturous practice of solitary confinement in Virginia's prisons and jails....
Meet Our Team
Natasha White, Director of Community Engagement
Kimberly Jenkins-Snodgrass, Senior Political Advisor
2024 VIRGINIA LEGISLATIVE SESSION
HB 1244 Restorative housing and isolated confinement; restrictions on use.
SUMMARY AS INTRODUCED:
Restorative housing and isolated confinement; restrictions on use. Prohibits the use of isolated confinement, defined in the bill, in state correctional facilities, subject to certain exceptions. The bill requires that before placing an incarcerated person in restorative housing or isolated confinement for his own protection, the facility administrator shall place an incarcerated person in a less restrictive setting, including by transferring such person to another institution or to a special-purpose housing unit for incarcerated persons who face similar threats. The bill requires that if an incarcerated person is placed in restorative housing or isolated confinement, such placement shall be reviewed every 48 hours and the facility administrator shall ensure that the incarcerated person receives a medical and mental health evaluation from certified medical and mental health professionals within one working day of placement in restorative housing or any form of isolated confinement. The bill also requires the facility administrator to notify the regional administrator in writing that an incarcerated person was placed in restorative housing or isolated confinement within 24 hours of such placement. The bill also requires that formal reviews of an incarcerated person's placement in any form of isolated confinement shall be held in such person's presence, inform him of any reason or reasons administrative officials believe isolated confinement remains necessary, and give the incarcerated person an opportunity to respond to those reasons, and a formal ruling shall be provided to the incarcerated individual within 24 hours.
- Watch Natasha White- “Humans Out of Solitary,” a video by NRCAT
- Please watch a special podcast interview, with Natasha White by Amplified Silence
"Humans Out of Solitary"
Natasha White is IAHR's Director of Community Engagement in VA, who describes the need for us to support our local and federal legislative efforts to end solitary confinement behind the wall. Subscribe here to stay updated on the efforts of the Virginia Coalition for Solitary Confinement.
For those who were not aware of IAHR’s efforts in support of HB 1244 , Click here to be updated by the Virginia Coalition on Solitary Confinement and subscribe to the IAHR YouTube channel to stay updated.
- “Students Against Solitary” Series
Our organization continues to host “Students Against Solitary” seminars, inviting students to learn about our mission in person or over Zoom.
One of the presentations was hosted at Old Dominion University with graduate students and Ph.D. students who are studying Social Services and Criminal Justice.
- "SolitaryNOmoreVA" Tour
The Virginia Coalition on Solitary Confinement was on tour this past Fall 2021 to increase awareness in Virginia about the conditions and treatment of individuals placed in solitary confinement.
The organization has been touring around Virginia to speak with Delegates, probation offices, and community members about solitary confinement, a form of torture in Virginia’s prisons. On tour are the Coalition’s Coordinator, Natasha White, and former Coalition Chair, David Smith, who have coordinated numerous meetings at various locations such as Southside, Shenandoah Valley, Roanoke, and Charlottesville.
A Story From Inside:
“Virginia recently changed its name on their segregation units from restrictive housing to restorative housing which is governed by Operating Procedure 841.4. When you read the new Operating Procedure 841.4 it’s clear Virginia is not serious about getting rid of [solitary confinement]. The new policy only changes the word restrictive to restorative. All restrictions are still in place and the same. The policy does say a 4 hour minimum out of cell daily, here’s the catch. I’m in a 22 man unit, with only 5 outside recreation cages so if you don’t make the officers’ top 5 list you don’t get recreation. I have been offered to be strapped to a table in the pod which allows no movement while strapped to it.”
- Incarcerated Individual at Red Onion (December 12, 2021)
*Names have been omitted for confidentiality purposes*
What happened to SB108?
Unfortunately, bill SB108 that would have ended long-term solitary confinement in Virginia by limiting the days of isolation to a maximum of 15 days did not pass. The bill initially showed promise as it successfully made its way through the Senate, but it was voted against in the Public Safety Subcommittee #2.
The bill has turned into a research study, which means that rather than ending long-term confinement, the new proposal will make Virginia officially document the use of restorative housing units. We are still waiting to see whether or not the study bill will pass in the coming weeks. To stay up to date, click here. Although SB108 did not pass, this is only a setback that will fuel the Coalition’s efforts for continuing to end long-term solitary confinement. We need as many people as possible to join us in this ongoing battle
Please watch a special PSA,
from the VA Coalition on Solitary Confinement
Death is preventable inside correctional facilities but we are learning no prevention is happening inside. Watch the Public Service Announcement "Preventable Deaths" with Natasha White, IAHR's Director of Community Engagement in VA, who describes the need for us to support our local and federal legislative efforts to stop the death of loved ones behind the wall.Subscribe here to stay updated on the efforts of the Virginia Coalition for Solitary Confinement.
For those who were not aware of IAHR’s efforts in support of SB108/HB1291, Click here to be updated by the Virginia Coalition on Solitary Confinement and subscribe to the IAHR YouTube channel to stay updated.
Follow TVCSC on social media to find out more about upcoming events!
YouTube: Solitary No More VA
Do you want to join our fight to end torture that is long-term solitary confinement in Virginia’s prisons?
Anyone who is interested can join us at our virtual community members meeting that is hosted on the last Thursday of every month.
Subscribe to our email list to stay informed on future events and updates from our organization.