Solitary Confinement: My First Day

Feb 11, 2024

My First Day In Solitary Confinement | 84 Square Feet Documentary 

Today I'm opening up about a deeply personal and intense chapter of my life. A period I spent in solitary confinement from 2010 to 2015. This part of my journey was tough, transformative and eye-opening in ways I can't put into words. That's why I decided to create "84 Square Feet," a documentary series that takes you inside my experiences in the confines of a prison cell.

Starting With “Why?”

Ely, NV Solitary Confinement
A Picture Of My Actual Solitary Confinement Cell In Ely, NV

I remember sitting in the 84-square-foot cell, a space amounting roughly to the size of an average parking slot, feeling a myriad of emotions. I was bewildered, scared, and trying to figure out how I would survive this new, harsh reality. So, why did I decide to share this potentially painful part of my life? Well, the reason is twofold.

Firstly, the overwhelming response to a simple Facebook post I made about solitary confinement revealed a deep hunger for understanding this harsh reality, a reality that over 100,000 inmates worldwide experience. The many questions, comments, and overall interactions were a true testament to the importance of sharing this story. 

Secondly, while I do talk about some grim, even shameful aspects of the prison system specifically solitary confinement, it's not my intention to shame or rebuke anyone.

My primary aim is to share my personal experiences, based on a belief that we can, and must, do better. 

Letters: My Lifeline and Your Window

One aspect of this documentary that I am particularly excited to share with you guys are the letters. Letters that I wrote to my mom during my time in solitary confinement, saved by her as a testament to that period. These letters were my lifeline, and now, they offer you an authentic window into my life during that time. 

84 Square Feet Solitary Confinement Documentary
One of my first letters from prison describing Solitary Confinement

Through the highs and lows, coping mechanisms, and everyday mundanities, these letters trace the trajectory of my time in solitary confinement. From the tiny adjustments like fashioning a pen barrel out of a toilet paper roll, to the struggle of keeping my spirits alive without any human contact, these letters encapsulate it all vividly.

The Reality of Solitary Confinement

In this video, join me as I spend my first full day there and recall the harsh realities of solitary from being made to stand in a cold hallway facing the wall for hours to the metallic clanks of prison doors, the grueling bus rides, and the numbing monotony of life in a cell. It's an experience you've probably only heard about or seen in movies but trust me, the reality is a departure from what you might imagine. 

With "84 Square Feet," my hope is that you will find a new perspective, that these experiences will resonate somewhere, and help foster a more compassionate and informed conversation around the criminal justice system and solitary confinement. 

Join Me 

I invite you to join me on this journey by watching the first episode of "84 Square Feet." Every view, share, or comment matters in spreading awareness about the realities of solitary confinement. 

Thank you for your time, your empathy, and your curiosity. I invite you to explore this journey with me, and look forward to hearing your thoughts and perspectives and welcome any questions that you may have.