anarchist hacker jeremy hammond put in solitary confinement for five days

by Tim Phillips

Jeremy Hammond was allegedly part of the small team of hackers that gained access to the servers of Texas-based intelligence contractor Strategic Forecasting Inc. (Stratfor), which compiles dossiers on activists. According to a November 2012 Rolling Stone article, the breach “not only cost the company millions, but focused worldwide attention on the murky world of private intelligence.” On March 5, after a hacker calling himself Sabu spent nine months working as an informant for the FBI, federal law-enforcement officers arrested Hammond in Chicago. He potentially faces many years, if not decades, in prison.

Hammond has been held at Manhattan’s Metropolitan Correctional Center for the past eight months. He expects his bail hearing to occur in approximately two weeks. He was recently put in solitary confinement for five days without cause.

On October 2, the ACLU released a year-long study shedding light on life in solitary confinement, finding that extreme isolation causes prisoners to “live in a world of unrelenting monotony, marked by isolation and idleness, where all extrinsic purpose and structure slowly unravels.”

Earlier this year, on June 19, a Senate Subcommittee held the first Congressional hearing on solitary confinement. In professor Lisa Guenther’s statement for the subcommittee, she argued against the practice on philosophical grounds. As she later wrote for a New York Times online forum,

For the sake of justice, not only for [prisoners] but for ourselves, we must put an end to the over-use of solitary confinement in this country, and we must begin the difficult but mutually rewarding work of bringing the tens of thousands of currently isolated prisoners back into the world.