Skip to content

   

Watching Herman's House

Six reflections on Herman's House and the issues it raised about solitary confinement in the United States.

Colin Dayan

Colin Dayan, Robert Penn Warren Professor in the Humanities at Vanderbilt University and Author
"What the Angola Three know — and this is perhaps the danger most feared — is that imprisonment goes hand in hand with familiar racist practices. Fear is a vice that takes root. The realities of stop-and-frisk, racial profiling and summary killing of young blacks have always been part of our history. It is ultimately a race thing."
Read more »

David C. Fathi

David C. Fathi, Director of the American Civil Liberties Union National Prison Project
"'It's an awful thing, solitary,' Senator John McCain wrote of his time in isolation as a prisoner of war in Vietnam. 'It crushes your spirit and weakens your resistance more effectively than any other form of mistreatment.' McCain spent about two years in isolation; Herman Wallace is now in his 42nd year of solitary confinement."
Read more »

Derek S. Jeffreys

Derek S. Jeffreys, Professor at University of Wisconsin-Green Bay and Author
"Today's prisons make little pretense of spiritually transforming people though solitary confinement. Instead, isolation is entirely punitive and seeks to debase rather than help. Many people who work with inmates understand that solitary is an assault on human dignity."
Read more »

Michael B. Mushlin

Michael B. Mushlin, Professor at Pace Law School and Author
"America can operate a safe and humane prison system without such widespread use of prolonged isolation. We, the people, are responsible for our prisons and what happens in them. When the public sends the message to stop the widespread use of isolation, America's solitary cell doors will open and we will have a prison system more worthy of our nation."
Read more »

Keramet Reiter

Keramet Reiter, Assistant Professor at the University of California, Irvine and Author
"Director [Angad Singh] Bhalla insists that we imagine not just what [Herman] Wallace's dream house could be, but what Wallace, and the thousands of others like him, might be outside of the confines of a six-by-nine-foot prison cell."
Read more »

Donn Rowe

Donn Rowe, President of the New York State Correctional Officers and Police Benevolent Association (NYSCOPBA)
"If we do not have the ability to separate these inmates from others, what are we to do with them? What other tools will correctional officers be given to ensure safety inside prison walls or prevent the disruption of the rehabilitation of other inmates?"
Read more »





Talk About This

Share This

Upcoming Films