HRC fights for the rights of incarcerated people in Pennsylvania. Our campaigns focus on the myriad ways in which basic human rights are denied inside prisons- from solitary confinement, to toxic living conditions, to the continued incarceration of elderly people. Learn more about our campaigns below.
In 2015, the UN declared that more than two weeks of solitary confinement is “torture” and should never be used in any correctional setting. Yet in Pennsylvania, the DOC confines over 2,500 people in solitary for spans that last months, years, and even decades.
Led by organizers who experiencd solitary firsthand, HRC advocates for the passage of legislation that would eliminate long-term solitary confinement and prohibit the use of solitary for vulnerable populations.
We can stop solitary through the passage of HB 497/ SB 832.
Learn more about these bills.
RELEASE THE AGING
Currently over 5,400 people are serving life sentences without the possibility of parole (what we call "Death By Incarceration"). We believe that the incarceration of aging people is not only inhumane, but also unnecessary because older people are much less likely to re-offend after release.
In the time of COVID-19, every prison sentence is a death sentence, especially for aging and medically vulnerable folks. Tell your representatives, the DOC, and Governor Wolf to #FreeOurPeople now!
In partnership with groups across the state, we are advocating for decarceration during the COVID-19 pandemic in order to save lives.
Read our demands below.
Learn more about how we can abolish Death by Incarceration from the Abolitionist Law Center.
FIGHT TOXIC PRISONS
Across Pennsylvania, incarcerated people are subjected to environmental hazards like contaminated water, polluted air, and non-nutritious foods which lead to cancer and other health issues. Many PA prisons are located in toxic areas, such as SCI Fayette which was built on top of a toxic coal ash dumping site. We organize with people on the inside to advocate for humane living conditions.
Read the Abolitionist Law Center's investigation into the health issues caused by the toxic waste dump surrounding SCI Fayette.
Read personal testimonies from people incarcerated at SCI Fayette about the toxic conditions and impact on their health.