[Update: 23 October, We received word that Jeremy is now out of the SHU.]
We received word last night that Jeremy had been placed in the Segregated Housing Unit (SHU), also known as solitary confinement. He had previously been placed in solitary confinement during pretrial detention. Details are spotty, but this is what we know so far:
- He was placed in the SHU on 10 October.
- The prison, FCI Manchester, claims that Jeremy stole clothing, but we don’t know whether they allege that he stole from a guard or another inmate. Jeremy denies this accusation unequivocally, and it goes against his character.
- We have been in contact with Jeremy’s lawyers, who are in contact with the prison to see if anything can be done to appeal his placement in the SHU.
Make no mistake: We firmly believe Jeremy has been placed in solitary confinement as retaliatory punishment for filing complaints against the prison for withholding his mail. The prison had begun rejecting books and even legal material related to Jeremy’s own case. Jeremy had written that he was willing to take his grievances to the highest possible level in order to see them resolved.
Because we feel this is a retaliatory measure, calling the jail or jail officials may be seen as aggression and may provoke the prison to further retaliate against Jeremy. Please, we beseech you, do not call the jail or jail officials at this time.
Solitary confinement is often described as psychological and physical torture. It’s often used to break down a prisoner’s will and spirit. As the CCR writes,
The devastating psychological and physical effects of prolonged solitary confinement are well documented by social scientists: prolonged solitary confinement causes prisoners significant mental harm and places them at grave risk of even more devastating future psychological harm.
Right now, the best thing everyone can do is write a note of encouragement, buy Jeremy a book, or donate to his commissary. All relevant information is here. If a book is rejected, Jeremy is notified and the book is returned to the distributor. Please contact us if this happens to you.