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Drawing of a solitary confinement cell with bed and toilet
Illustration by Lamar Moore

This drawing is from the perspective of the front of my cell.

My cellmate, in the top bunk, was asleep at that moment.

Here at East Arkansas Regional Unit, the isolation area is made up of two-man cells and some one-man cells.

Our life in solitary confinement doesn’t consist of much of anything. Showers are infrequent — we get them on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday nights. Recently, we’ve had no outside yard or recreation time because inmates were allegedly breaking into other cages and fighting. The recreation cages are now under construction.

I’m writing this in late May. I came to solitary for this stay on April 19. During that time, I haven’t seen anything ever get fixed. The water system here is bad. Those of us in the hole can’t buy clean water from the commissary, like the general population can, so I don’t drink much.

Isolation inmates are not allowed to get state-issued haircuts or shave. We have to hang all our clothes in the cells after we hand wash; unlike the general population, isolation inmates don’t get the privilege of having our laundry washed.

You may wonder why I’m not filing a grievance over these indignities. That’s because that process is a joke in isolation. It’s hard to find someone to take your grievance; and if someone does, then you never see that grievance again.

We can’t do anything from these cells.

Disclaimer: The views in this article are those of the author. Prison Journalism Project has verified the writer’s identity and basic facts such as the names of institutions mentioned.

Lamar "Shone" Moore is an artist and writer, who believes in the need for criminal justice and prison reform. He is incarcerated in Arkansas.