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Six by Ten: Stories from Solitary

Join us for a night of readings with Voice of Witness, a non-profit human rights organization in the Mission who publishes oral histories of human rights abuses. With a new book releasing this October with Haymarket Books, 6 x 10 —Voices from Solitary. This will be an event with author Mateo Hoke and a few of the narrators from the book centered around experience and mass incarceration throughout the US and beyond. 

Press Release Below: 

“Six by Ten is a deeply moving and profoundly unsettling wake-up call for all citizens. The use of solitary confinement is deeply immoral and we must insist that it be banned in all of our nation’s prisons. Immediately.”
—Heather Ann Thompson, Pulitzer Prize–winning author, Blood
in the Water: The Attica Prison Uprising of 1971 and Its Legacy

This compelling collection of stories told by people directly impacted by solitary confinement is the first book in a new partnership between Voice of Witness and Haymarket Books.

Each chapter presents an individual’s story and shows how Americans across the country and all walks of life find themselves held in solitary for years or even decades. In addition to fourteen evocative firsthand accounts, the book also includes essays and analysis on how solitary became such a prominent feature of the
US prison system today.

Narrators include:

Brian Nelson, who was taken by the Illinois Department of Corrections from solitary cell to solitary cell in prisons across the state for more than seven years in the 1980s and ‘90s as part of
an unofficial program that came to be known as “the Circuit.”

Mohammed Ali, who grew up in the Bay Area after his family immigrated to the United States from Fiji. Growing up romanticizing gang life, he escalated through youth detention, jails, and prisons before landing in solitary in a private immigration detention facility in Arizona.

Candie Hailey, a young mother accused of a notorious crime, waits for her day in court while detained in one of America’s largest jails on Rikers Island in New York City. She is held in solitary
confinement for more than two years before she is finally acquitted of all charges and released from jail.

Heather Chapman, who is fighting for the life of her son, Nikko. He was diagnosed as bipolar at a young age and spent time in youth institutions in Florida before being sent to solitary as a teenager.

Sonya Calico, who was sent to solitary in a men’s jail in Texas, supposedly for her own protection, and whose story helped inspire change for other trans people facing incarceration in Dallas.