Letters From the Hole: New York Prison Inmate Gets a Year in Solitary Confinement for Smoking Pot


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: Chris, a New York state prison inmate, currently is serving a one-year sentence in extreme isolation. This means he’s alone in his cell 23 hours a day. His infraction: testing positive for marijuana. This is Chris’ seventh trip to the segregated housing unit. All of his prior offenses were non-violent — primarily drug-related — infractions. See his letter pleading for treatment below.

Chris Redacted