National Underground Railroad Freedom Center Announces Extended Run of Solitary Confinement Cell Experience

Press Release

National Underground Railroad Freedom Center Announces Extended Run of Solitary Confinement Cell Experience


Jamie Glavic
(513) 333-7511
(513) 802-7355

Assia Johnson
(513) 333-7555
(513) 787-2110


CINCINNATI, OH (October 7, 2016) – The Solitary Confinement Cell Experience at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center has been extended through October 29, 2016. The traveling National Religious Campaign Against Torture (NRCAT) exhibit, in partnership with the Islamic Center of Greater Cincinnati, is a part of NRCAT’s nationwide interfaith campaign to expose and end the torture of solitary confinement in prisons, jails and detention centers across the U.S.

Since its opening, the Solitary Confinement Cell Experience has sparked in-depth discussion in the community about the affects of the criminal justice system on minority communities, the prison industrial complex and mass incarceration.

The Solitary Confinement Cell Experience consists of a replica cell with audio from a maximum security prison in Maine and panels highlighting personal stories. The cell has been exhibited at the Ecumenical Advocacy Days in Washington DC, the Islamic Circle of North America’s Annual Convention in Baltimore, the United Church of Christ Synod in Cleveland, the Pennsylvania Council of Churches’ Statewide Conference on Mass Incarceration and the National Catholic Youth Conference in Indianapolis, prior to its exhibition at the Center. The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center is the first museum to host the exhibit. In addition to the cell, the Solitary Confinement Cell Experience highlights six personal stories of individuals held in solitary confinement cells

“We are moved by the conversations that the public are engaging in while viewing this powerful exhibition,” says Dr. Michael Battle, vice president and provost of the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center. “The extension of the Solitary Confinement Cell Experience will provide even more opportunities for the community to learn, question and connect with personal stories to demand reform.”

In conjunction with the exhibition, Breaking Down the Box, a documentary film screening as part of the Freedom Film Series, will take place Wednesday, October 26 at 7:00 p.m. Ron Stief, NRCAT executive director, will discuss the mental health, racial justice and human rights implications of the systemic use of solitary confinement in U.S. prisons following the screening in the Harriet Tubman Theater. Breaking Down the Box is free and open to the public. RSVPs are requested as seating is limited. Click here to RSVP.

The Solitary Confinement Cell Experience is open through October 29, 2016 at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center. The exhibit is included general admission. Learn more about at



The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center opened in August 2004 on the banks of the Ohio River in downtown Cincinnati, Ohio. Since then, more than 1.3 million people have visited its permanent and changing exhibits and public programs, inspiring everyone to take courageous steps for freedom. Two million people have utilized educational resources online at, working to connect the lessons of the Underground Railroad to inform and inspire today’s global and local fight for freedom. Partnerships include Historians Against Slavery, Polaris Project, Free the Slaves, US Department of State and International Justice Mission. In 2014, the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center launched a new online resource in the fight against modern slavery,

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