<p>Visit the <a href="https://www.georgetown.edu/operating-status">operating status page</a> for information on the university's current operating status.</p>
View of stained glass with the Georgetown University seal



The Prisons and Justice Initiative will host a conversation today on solitary confinement, “Solitary Confinement and the Threat to Human Dignity.” The event also marks the launch of a 2-week exhibit in Georgetown’s ICC Galleria of a replica solitary confinement cell, which will remain in place until the evening of January 30.

On Tuesday, January 16, and Wednesday, January 17, the National Religious Campaign Against Torture (NRCAT) will also provide five Virtual Reality goggles through which viewers can experience imprisonment in a solitary confinement cell. The 9-minute experience is narrated by experts and formerly incarcerated individuals. For these two days, Sekwan Merritt and Marcus Lilly will be present to facilitate the VR and answer questions based on their research and experience.  


Following a keynote address by leading psychiatrist Terry Kupers, Marc Howard, Director of the Prisons and Justice Initiative, will moderate a discussion on solitary confinement. Panelists include:

  • Johnny Perez: Director of the U.S. Prisons Program at the National Religious Campaign Against Torture

  • Cheleta Tuckson: postal service worker, motivational speaker, and founding member of The W.I.R.E. (Women Involved in Reentry Efforts)

  • Sekwan Merritt: electrician, criminal justice reform advocate, and former college student while incarcerated

  • Marcus Lilly: recently released community outreach coordinator, current college student, and former student in the Georgetown-Jessup “Prison Reform Project” class


Tuesday, January 16, 2018

4:00 - 6:00 p.m.


Copley Formal Lounge

Georgetown University

37th and O Streets, NW

Washington, DC 20057


Media who are interested in covering the event or the solitary confinement exhibit should contact Andrew Debraggio in the Georgetown University Office of Strategic Communications at (202) 687-4328 or at gucomm@georgetown.edu.

About the Martin Luther King, Jr. Initiative

The January 16 panel is a continuation of Georgetown’s efforts to honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. through the University’s MLK Initiative, a series of events, both singular and ongoing, that reflect on Dr. King’s legacy. Dr. King wrote the seminal “Letter from Birmingham Jail” while in solitary confinement. A calendar of 2018 MLK events can be found here.