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Afsc Solitary Survivors Manual Press Release July 2012

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For Immediate Release

Contact: Bonnie Kerness
Office: 973-643-3192

Quaker group presents book of prisoners’ own tips on mental, physical, spiritual survival
PHILADELPHIA (July 26, 2012) – The American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) this
month is releasing the fifth edition of “Survivors Manual: Survival in Solitary” a collection of
letters, poetry and practical advice on surviving the miseries of solitary confinement in prisons.
The book will be sold at $3 each through the Friends General Conference at A pdf of the manual is available on
Solitary confinement, characterized by 23-hour a day lockout with minimal exercise and lack of
human contact, affects an estimated 100,000 prisoners in federal and state prisons in almost
every state. Thus the need for “Survivors Manual,” which was first issued in 1998, is even more
“The isolation of solitary confinement is torture according to the United Nations Convention
Against Torture. The extended use of solitary severely affects all prisoners’ mental health,
making re-entry to society all the more difficult. For those with pre-existing mental conditions,
such consequences are even worse,” says Bonnie Kerness, Prison Watch Coordinator for AFSC.
The first-ever hearing by a U.S. Senate panel on the use of solitary confinement was held in June
2012. AFSC supports congressional efforts to seek an immediate end to the use of solitary
confinement for extended periods. AFSC recently submitted testimony to that Senate Judiciary
Subcommittee Hearing on Solitary Confinement.
In 1946, the Quakers formed the Prison Service Committee to provide support for and monitor
the conditions of incarceration endured by people who had been imprisoned for conscientious
objection to war. Since then, AFSC has sought to provide individual and collective advocacy
over conditions of incarceration; policy advocacy against mass incarceration; the death penalty,
life without parole sentencing, racial profiling and immigration detention.
Watch our video at For more information on AFSC’s work for peace and
justice, visit, and follow us on Twitter or Facebook.

The American Friends Service Committee is a Quaker organization that includes people of various faiths who are
committed to social justice, peace and humanitarian service. Its work is based on the belief in the worth of every person and
faith in the power of love to overcome violence and injustice.