Letters From the Hole: SHU Inmate Says Prison Staff Confiscated His Son's Report Card

This is one of several photos from a series on mental illness within the prison system by photographer Jen Ackerman.
Jen Ackerman's Trapped: Mental Illness In America's Prisons

The New York Civil Liberties Union recently released a report outlining the "inhumane, arbitrary use of solitary confinement" in New York state prisons.

Included in the report are handwritten letters from several inmates placed in segregated housing (solitary confinement) for various -- in many cases non-violent -- reasons. The letters describe what life is like for those locked in a cage for 23 hours a day.

The Voice will be publishing several of the letters in a series called Letters From the Hole.

Today's inmate: Stefan, a prisoner at Southport Correctional Facility who was given six months in isolation for a fistfight at a different facility. Stefan received an additional 16 months in isolation after he tested positive for marijuana.

In July, Stefan claims prison officials denied him his son's report card, which was mailed to him but confiscated by prison officials. He says he needs the report card in order to perform his "fatherly role...given the circumstances."

According to Stefan, prison staff showed no interest in even acknowledging his grievance.

See his letter below.

Stephan Redacted

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