Jack Beck served for 15 years as the Director of the Prison Visiting Project at the Correctional Association of NY (CA), which has statutory authority to inspect prisons in NY State and to report its findings to the legislature and public. At the CA, he focused on monitoring conditions within NY prisons, including the impact of solitary confinement; safety and violence in the prisons; prison medical and mental health care; and treatment of persons in prison with substance abuse histories. Prior to the CA, he was a Senior Supervising Attorney at the Prisoners’ Right Project (PRP) of the Legal Aid Society, where he worked for 23 years. Now retired, Jack continues to educate and advocate for change in our country’s prisons systems and to end solitary confinement as an active member of the New York Campaign for Alternatives to Isolated Confinement.
Dolores Canales is Co-Founder of California Families Against Solitary Confinement. Dolores is currently working to establish a National Network of Solitary Survivors and Families and explore the kinds of support and coordination the Network will need to become integrally involved in local, state, and national campaigns to end solitary confinement. As organizer of the Family Unity Network and of California Families to Abolish Solitary Confinement, Dolores was instrumental in building grassroots activism by family members and formerly incarcerated people in the communities most impacted by solitary, as well as collaborations across the wall with hunger strikers at Pelican Bay and other California prisons. In coordination with litigation and other advocacy efforts, Dolores’s work helped to achieve meaningful reform of California’s solitary confinement policies, while at the same time fostering family restoration and healing.
Tammie comes to NPP from a long and distinguished career with the U.S. Department of Justice and other federal agencies. After beginning her career with law firms in Minneapolis and Washington, in 2000 she joined DOJ as a trial attorney in the Civil Rights Division. From 2003 to 2011 she was a senior attorney in the Special Litigation Section, where she worked on cases involving prisons, jails, and policing. She rose to the level of Principal Deputy Chief of the Section, where she provided day-to-day supervision to a staff of over 70 people.
Tammie is a 1995 cum laude graduate of Howard University Law School, where she received the Lloyd MacMahon Fellowship, a Merit Scholarship, and three American Jurisprudence Awards. She is currently in the process of adopting a 10-year-old son and enjoys cardio-kickboxing and reading for pleasure any chance she gets.
Jenny Lutz is a Staff Attorney at the Center for Children’s Law and Policy who leads the Center’s national work to end solitary confinement of youth through institutional reform, administrative and legislative advocacy, and public education. She also assists jurisdictions to prevent kids from entering youth justice facilities and works with jurisdictions to reduce racial and ethnic disparities in their juvenile justice systems. From 2005-2015, Jenny represented hundreds of youth charged with crimes as a trial attorney and Policy Advocate at the Defender Association of Philadelphia. Jenny is a graduate of Duke University the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Law.
Johnny Perez is the Director of U.S. Prison Program for the National Religious Campaign Against Torture, a membership organization committed to ending U.S.-sponsored torture, and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment. He adds value, insight, and leadership to existing campaign efforts working to end the torture of solitary confinement, while building the capacity of religious leaders and directly impacted communities to engage in education and advocacy in the United States.
Jessica Sandoval, National Director of the Unlock the Box Campaign to End Solitary Confinement, has 25 years experience reforming the youth and adult justice systems. Mrs. Sandoval uses her organizing and advocacy expertise to develop and administer strategies and tools to support state campaigns aligned with the mission of the “stop solitary” movement.
Mark Soler is the Founder and Executive Director of the Center for Children’s Law and Policy (CCLP), a nonprofit public interest law and policy organization that works on juvenile justice reform throughout the country. CCLP’s activities focus on reducing unnecessary incarceration of young people, ensuring safe and humane conditions for youth who are incarcerated, and reducing racial and ethnic disparities in the justice system. CCLP leads Stop Solitary for Kids, a national campaign to end solitary confinement for young people in the justice system.
Gabrielle Watson is an experienced strategy and evaluation professional with over 20 years experience in public policy, human rights and international development. Before starting Watson Strategies in 2015, Gabrielle worked with Oxfam where she developed and managed internal evaluation systems for policy advocacy efforts and led evaluations on issues ranging from humanitarian crisis response, global access to medicines, sustainable food systems, and the impacts of climate change on vulnerable people. Gabrielle’s strong commitment to learning on the part of the people who actually do the work guides her practice as a Developmental Evaluator, with its focus on bringing real-time feedback and facilitating collective sense-making to drive strategic decisions. Gabrielle is fluent in Spanish and Portuguese and brings strong process facilitation and iterative design skills to fit the learning needs of the teams she works with.
Brie Williams, MD, MS is a Physician and Professor of Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco in Internal Medicine, Hospice and Palliative Care, and Geriatrics. As Founder and Director of Amend, her work is increasingly focused on transforming U.S. prison culture as a vital strategy for restoring humanity to the U.S. criminal justice system and ending mass incarceration. Dr. Williams spent her early career focused on improving the health of incarcerated older adults and people with serious illness. Her research has called for increased attention to the impact of solitary confinement on adverse physical health outcomes; a more scientific development of medical “compassionate” release policies for incarcerated patients with serious illness; and improved systems for defining, recognizing, and responding to disability, dementia, and serious illness in the correctional environment. She served as a medical expert on several lawsuits related to conditions of confinement, and became familiar with the poor health outcomes that are common among correctional staff as well as prison residents of all ages. These experiences made her recognize the need to integrate a health perspective into criminal justice reform.
Banning Torture: Legislative Trends and Policy Solutions for Restricting and Ending Solitary Confinement throughout the United States- -the first-ever comprehensive, nationwide analysis of legislation related to solitary confinement.