National Lawyers Guild Calls for End of 21-Year Solitary Confinement of Pennsylvania Inmate Russell Maroon Shoatz

January 2, 2011
Paige Cram
Communications Coordinator
212-679-5100, ext. 15

The National Lawyers Guild called on Superintendent Louis S. Folino to support the Program Review Board’s recommendation to release Russell Maroon Shoatz into general population at SCI Greene in Waynesburg, Pennsylvania.

Russell Maroon Shoatz has been incarcerated since 1972, the past 21 years of which have been spent in solitary confinement at SCI Greene. He is 67 years old and has not committed an infraction in 21 years. In addition to his record of good conduct, members of the Pennsylvania Prison Society who visit Mr. Shoatz regularly attest to his peaceful disposition. While in prison, Mr. Shoatz has re-educated himself and undergone a profound spiritual transformation.

The Program Review Board meets on January 5 to consider moving Mr. Shoatz into general population. A copy of the full letter sent to Superintendent Folino is available below.

The National Lawyers Guild, founded in 1937, is the oldest and largest public interest/human rights bar organization in the United States. It has defended the rights or prisoners for over 70 years and its members have brought litigation aimed at raising awareness of and correcting unconstitutional practices in correctional facilities. The Guild’s headquarters are in New York and it has chapters in every state.