Criminal Law and Justice

Solitary Confinement Through the Eyes of a Former Prisoner

February 4, 2016  • Aspen Ideas To Go

Hear what former prisoner Shaka Senghor, who was incarcerated for 19 years and now directs strategy for the bipartisan initiative #cut50, has to say about President Barack Obama’s recent pledge to end solitary confinement for juveniles and low-level offenders. Senghor shares his insights from seven years in solitary confinement in one of the nation’s most violent prisons. Since 1980, the number of people incarcerated in the United States has more than quadrupled; the US now has the largest prison population in the world.

This episode also features a conversation between Senghor, Ta-Nehisi Coates, Jens Ludwig, and Bruce Western that took place at the 2015 Aspen Ideas Festival.

The “Aspen Ideas to Go” podcast is a weekly show featuring fascinating speakers who have presented at the Aspen Ideas Festival and other public programs offered by the Aspen Institute — including Aspen Words, the Alma and Joseph Gildenhorn Book Series, and various events around the country. For a curated listening experience, subscribe to the podcast on iTunes or listen to each episode on the Aspen Ideas website.