Virginia corrections officials, through their Step Down Programs at Red Onion and Wallens Ridge Prisons, have implicitly recognized that long-term isolation is harmful and needs to be reduced. Prisoners, however – including some who have completed the Step-Down Program – and their families have raised some disturbing issues that point to a need for a closer look. Their allegations include that even prisoners who complete the Step-Down Program can be repeatedly placed back in restrictive housing ("sometimes called segregation or solitary confinement) for indefinite periods ranging from 30 days to 6 months or more, following disciplinary charges that are sometimes fabricated or inflated.
Gay Gardner and Kimberly Jenkins Snodgrass have led IAHR’s work in exposing the human rights abuses at Red Onion, Wallens Ridge, and other Virginia detention facilities. Here is a video in which they describe some of the abuses.
IAHR is working with other advocates to explore how, together, we can address these charges effectively. Learn more about The Virginia Coalition and its work here.