Keep ALC in the Fight to End Mass Incarceration!

Abolitionist Law Center, our clients, and our supporters have made important strides in overturning laws aimed at censoring and silencing prisoners’ voices, in challenging decades-long solitary confinement, and in pushing for life-saving treatment for hepatitis C+ prisoners. Over the last few years, lawsuits filed by Abolitionist Law Center have:
  • Ended solitary confinement of pregnant women at the Allegheny County Jail
  • Won the first court order in the country forcing prison officials to provide new hepatitis C medications
  • Won release from decades-long solitary confinement for Russell Maroon Shoatz and Arthur Cetewayo Johnson
  • Overturned a statute that would have silenced prisoners and anyone who published the speech of prisoners
Your support makes it possible for us to win these fights. Please donate and together we can keep building the movement to abolish mass incarceration.


Lauren, Shakaboona, Bret and Quinn
As a movement lawyering organization, our primary method for winning the abolition of mass incarceration is to amplify the voices of activists inside and outside the prison walls. We understand that social change is a political process and the most effective way to achieve deep and sustained improvements is through the organization and mobilization of communities. With this in mind, we have successfully fought to protect the rights of prisoners to engage in political speech and self-education, and we have successfully helped to push back on the overuse of solitary confinement (which is often used as retaliation for advocacy from within the prisons). We have also expanded our work to defend movement activists who are not incarcerated, such as Saundra Cole and George Ciccariello-Maher, against harassment from police and white supremacist individuals and hate groups.
Bret, Ghani, Sean, and Jamelia
With your support, we increased our efforts to ban Death By Incarceration (DBI), also known as life without parole, abolish long-term solitary confinement, and force prison administrators to provide curative treatment for prisoners with hepatitis C. We hired three new staff members  focused on these issues: Jamelia Morgan, Lauren Johnson and Quinn Cozzens (pictured above and right). We co-founded the western Pennsylvania chapter of the Coalition to Abolish Death By Incarceration (CADBI West),  and we increased collaboration with our friends at the Amistad Law Project.


Arthur Cetewayo Johnson and family
The Abolitionist Law Center’s work to abolish solitary confinement resulted in some important victories over the last year. At the beginning of this year Arthur Cetewayo Johnson walked out of his solitary confinement cell and into the general prison population following 36 years in solitary, after we won a preliminary injunction on his behalf (Johnson v. Wetzel). One of our lawsuits (Seitz v. Allegheny County) successfully stopped the Allegheny County Jail from putting pregnant women in solitary confinement. And we obtained the first circuit court holding in the country recognizing that solitary confinement of persons with serious mental illness states a claim under the Eighth Amendment (Palakovic v. Wetzel).
With the help of our new staff attorney, Jamelia Morgan, we are currently litigating three (soon to be four) cases challenging long-term solitary confinement on Pennsylvania’s Death Row, which is being imposed on prisoners even though they have had their death sentences overturned. PA DOC contends that the mere possibility that these men may be re-sentenced to death after a new trial or sentencing hearing requires them to be held in solitary confinement. This is happening despite the Third Circuit Court of Appeals issuing a landmark decision earlier this year, which held that continued use of solitary confinement on Death Row of individuals who have obtained relief on their death sentence violated the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Williams v. Secretary, Pennsylvania Department of Corrections, 848 F.3d 459 (3d Cir. 2017).


Charmaine and her mother Donna.
The Abolitionist Law Center is working actively to roll back race- and class-based mass incarceration through our ongoing decarceration efforts. As part of these effort, we’ve also been working to get people released from prison, including three clients who were 18 years old when the crimes they were convicted of occurred. All three of them were sentenced to Death By Incarceration (DBI), also known as life without parole, without any consideration given to mitigating circumstances (such as youth, intellectual disability, or lack of intent). Their youth raises the same issues of diminished culpability that the Supreme Court relied on in deciding Miller v. Alabama, which effectively ended DBI sentences for juveniles. State prosecutors and courts are trying to limit the holding to people who were under 18 years old, despite the fact that the same developmental science that the Supreme Court relied on in Miller shows that brain development continues well past the 18th birthday. Our cases seek to win the release Charmaine Pfender, Avis Lee, and Arthur Cetewayo Johnson, while establishing that the ruling in Miller v. Alabama applies to people who were over 18 years old when they committed or allegedly committed a crime.
In addition to working on the above cases, a report on DBI sentencing in Pennsylvania is being prepared by our new staff-member Quinn Cozzens. Research for this report is already being used to help support the work of movement activists pushing to abolish Death By Incarceration, and over the next few months we will be launching a program to assist the movement in lobbying for statutory changes to end all DBI sentences.


Mumia Abu-JamalAt the beginning of this year, we won an injunction forcing the PA DOC to provide treatment to Mumia Abu-Jamal using direct acting antiviral (DAA) medications to cure his hepatitis C infection. This was the first court order in the country requiring prison administrators to provide DAA medications to an incarcerated patient. Mumia announced that he was free of the hepatitis C virus at the end of May.
Late last year we started a new program to increase legal support for hepatitis C+ prisoners. Mumia’s case was an important initial victory, but we will be filing more cases before the end of the year seeking to force accountability on the PA DOC for refusing to provide the new curative treatments, and for the injuries and deaths caused by those failures.

Transforming this system and rolling back the mass incarceration state requires building mass popular movements. And people’s movements need movement lawyers. Please consider making a donation to our efforts today.

Keep ALC in the Fight to End Mass Incarceration!

alc_donate_header_mergedAbolitionist Law Center, our clients, and our supporters have made important strides in overturning laws aimed at silencing prisoners’ voices, in challenging long-term solitary confinement, and in pushing for life-saving treatment for hepatitis C+ prisoners. None of this would have been possible without the support of our donors, and so much more is possible with increased support. Please donate so we can keep fighting to abolish mass incarceration.
Our recent victories were more than just precedents and press. They contributed to the growing momentum of the Movement to End Mass Incarceration. Maroon’s public statement on the Settlement won in his case puts it best:

Maroon and Bret“Since joining the struggle for Human Rights in the mid 1960s, I have always chosen to fight! Frederick Douglass was right when he said ‘Power concedes nothing without a demand.’ So have no doubt that I see this Settlement as anything but the latest blow struck, and you rest assured that I will continue in the struggle for Human Rights. Straight Ahead!”

We plan on being right there beside Maroon in the struggle for Human Rights, and with your support we will continue to push “Straight Ahead!” But we need your help to do that, so please show your commitment to our work – and to abolition – by contributing today.



Brandon PalakovicThis lawsuit against the DOC for repeatedly placing a mentally ill prisoner in solitary confinement, leading to his suicide, will be argued in the Third Circuit this winter, as we seek to reverse improper dismissal by the district court.






This case against Allegheny County Jail officials and Corizon for starving a prisoner nearly to death, causing him to have a heart attack at the age of 28, reveals how decisions to cut costs in medical care of the incarcerated can have potentially lethal consequences.






Nikki, Saleem, Kris and BretCase against the DOC for censoring the correspondence, communications, and written works of prisoner-activist Robert Saleem Holbrook. We are waiting for a decision on cross motions for summary judgement, but we already compelled the DOC to institute changes to its censorship policies, including providing due process for non-prisoners when their mail is intercepted by prison censors.


Mumia Abu-JamalIn this case, suing the DOC to get Mumia Abu-Jamal life-saving treatment for his hepatitis C infection, the judge has already ruled that the DOC’s hepatitis C protocol is unconstitutional, though he has not yet granted the injunction ordering treatment for our client. We have several motions pending that can be ruled on any day in this groundbreaking case seeking to establish a right to a cure for incarcerated patients with chronic hepatitis C.





Expanding litigation to win hepatitis C treatment for many prisoners by training a network of pro bono attorneys and connecting them with prisoner-plaintiffs.


Continuing to bring cases challenging and seeking to abolish the practice if keeping prisoners in long-term solitary confinement.


Increasing support to the movement to end Life Without Parole (LWOP), representing juvenile lifers during their re-sentencing and bringing cases on behalf of clients who were 18-years-old at the time of the offense giving rise to their mandatory LWOP sentence, arguing for reversal of their sentences.

Transforming this system and rolling back the mass incarceration state requires building mass popular movements. And people’s movements need movement lawyers. Please consider making a donation to our efforts today.

Support the Movement to Abolish Mass Incarceration!

Final Update – July 26, 2015

Thank you all for supporting Abolitionist Law Center and helping to get the word out about our work! With your help we were able to raise exactly $10,000, which is nearly double what we raised from crowdfunding last year. More than 6 times as many tweets were sent out about this campaign, and nearly twice as many Facebook posts. This growing support will embolden us to push even harder against race and class based mass incarceration.

With your support we are now able to keep working through the rest of 2015, and we are in a great position to grow. We’ll keep you updated via email announcements about our projects as the year progresses. Expect announcements about our solitary confinement docket, and our investigation and advocacy related to coal ash pollution at SCI Fayette.
Finally, we’d like to bring to your attention a couple other important causes that we support, and which could benefit from your interest and support:

1) The Prison Ecology Project was recently organized by our friends at the Human Rights Defense Center. The project is aimed at creating tools to dismantle toxic prisons, andwas in part inspired by ALC’s work exposing the link between coal ash pollution and prisoner health problems at SCI Fayette.

They recently filed a comment letter with the EPA, which ALC and 92 other organizations signed-on to. The letter challenges the EPA to consider prisoners as Environmental Justice Communities, which would entail more scrutiny of environmental conditions and permitting that affects prisoners. Currently, the EPA does not consider the wellbeing of prisoners at all, yet thousands of them are being forcibly held in environmentally toxic conditions. So keep an eye out for this project, and support it where you can:

2) Political prisoner Robert Seth Hayes is raising money to support his struggle to get proper medical care, and to win release from prison. After returning from the Vietnam War, Seth joined the Black Panther Party and was later imprisoned for his involvement in the struggle for Black Liberation. Seth was sentenced to 25 years to life, which means after serving 25 years he was eligible for parole. Seth has now been locked in prison for 42 years and unjustly denied parole on 10 occasions. Please take a look at his support campaign, and help out however you can.

With gratitude,
Dustin McDaniel
Executive Director | Abolitionist Law Center


We just launched an Indiegogo campaign to raise money so we can continue and expand our work supporting the movement to abolish mass incarceration. If you’ve made it to our website, then you probably have some idea of what we do, but for those who are new to the work of Abolitionist Law Center here is a brief summary:

We are movement lawyers engaged in litigation, education, and grassroots organizing for social justice, with a special focus on fighting against mass incarceration. As implied by our name, we aim to abolish mass incarceration, a system of social control that is rooted in this country’s long history of racial and class-based discrimination and oppression. As movement lawyers, we understand the limitations of fighting for the abolition of mass incarceration from within the institutions that have created it, so we work closely with the people most affected by mass incarceration (current prisoners, former prisoners, and the friends and family members of prisoners) in order to cultivate and strengthen a mass movement against the American penal system.

On the other hand, we recognize that the courts provide a forum for advancing the aims of the movement, and attorneys often times have more access to prisoners than others are allowed. Practical victories that can be won in court include gaining the release of political prisoners from decades of solitary confinement, or successfully defending the right of prisoners to express viewpoints that are critical of the criminal legal and prison systems. In both cases, victory means increasing the ability of prisoners to communicate with supporters and activists on the outside, who are then able to more effectively push for immediate action to be taken in cases of physical and mental abuse against prisoners, as well as pushing for long term structural changes. Additionally, each concrete victory has symbolic benefits that encourage and help to build the movement to abolish mass incarceration.

If you believe that mass incarceration needs to end, and recognize the unique role that movement lawyers can play in helping the broader movement bring about that end, then please consider supporting the Abolitionist Law Center by donating to our Indiegogo campaign. All donations are tax-deductible.


Check out these recent news articles about our investigation into environmental conditions at State Correctional Institution Fayette:

International Business Times – Poison Prison: Is toxic dust sickening inmates locked up in coal country? – Coal Ash May Be Making Pennsylvania Inmates Sick, and Now They’re Fighting to Shut Their Prison Down

Public Source and The Allegheny Front – Two men. One coal-ash dump. No answers.


Support ALC’s Environmental Justice Work – Give Now and Your Donation Will Be Doubled!

A generous donor has offered a matching pledge in response to the report the Abolitionist Law Center (ALC) recently released with the Human Rights Coalition (HRC), which uncovered a hidden health crisis at a Pennsylvania prison built in the midst of a toxic coal waste dump. If you give today your donation will be matched dollar-for-dollar up to $1,000.

On September 2nd, ALC and HRC released the report No Escape: Exposure to Toxic Coal Waste at State Correctional Institution Fayette. The report was covered on the front page of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, picked up by Reuters and the New York Times online, and has spurred the Pennsylvania State Correctional Officers Association and the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections to launch inquiries into the health of staff and prisoners at SCI Fayette.

If this pledge is matched, then we will have raised $2,000 to support our ongoing investigation of environmental pollution and related health effects at State Correctional Institution (SCI) Fayette. These funds will also contribute to our advocacy efforts on behalf of prisoners like Nicholas Morrissey, who is suffering from severe neurological symptoms potentially related to coal ash exposure.

Please consider giving a donation today – and help us move forward on this rapidly expanding project. Donations may be made via PayPal, by mailing checks to P.O. Box 8654, Pittsburgh, PA 15221, or to our Bitcoin wallet at 16TvNewZsFDPKiBAUB5A3oHD5a1WcwK19J

Many Thanks,

Abolitionist Law Center


Press Coverage of No Escape

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:

Groups say fly ash near state prison in Fayette County causing health problems

State, corrections union investigate health at prisons by coal sites


Report blames coal ash for cancers at Pennsylvania prison

Prison Radio:

No Escape (Toxic Exposure at SCI Fayette) by Mumia Abu-Jamal


Report alleges link between fly ash, health problems at SCI-Fayette

KQV radio:

Report Finds Disturbing Pattern of Illnesses at State Prison


40 Million Tons Of Toxic Coal Waste Sit Next To Prison With ‘Alarming Rates Of Illness’

Allegheny Front:

Report Points to Fly Ash Pollution in Prisoner Health Complaints

Abolitionist Visions: A Fundraiser to Fight the Prison State

War Cries

Abolitionist Visions: A Fundraiser to Fight the Prison State

Joy KMT, Blak Rapp Madusa, Jacquea Mae, Russell Shoatz III and more!

The Abolitionist Law Center is throwing a fundraiser at the Bricolage Theatre in downtown Pittsburgh. Join us on May 10th for a night of poetry, song, hip-hop, and prison abolition. Tickets are 
$10-$20 sliding scale. No one will be turned away. Food and drink provided. Parent and child-friendly. Doors open at 5pm – program runs from 6-8pm.

RSVP via our Facebook Event PageBricolage Theatre, 937 Liberty Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15222

PRE-PURCHASE TICKETS VIA ALS’C PAYPAL: Donate $10-$20 (or more) prior to May 10 and your name will be added to the admission list.


Joy KMT – Joy KMT is self-taught&queer&black&femme&hood&poet&mother&lover&. She works from the possibility of the personal to be collectively transformational. Her work often blends the magical with the reality of living at the crossroads of multiplicities. Website:

Blak Rapp Madusa – Born in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania Mel Carter also known as Blak Rapp Madusa emerges from the ghetto streets of Pennsylvania, taking the conscious music movement by storm. Through melodic lyricism this rapper/activist/poet paints a vivid picture of the black experience in America, the black nationalist movement, social and political justice ideologies interwoven with the spiritual inspiration of Islam. This artist is on a mission for change by spreading a positive message and a call to action for all oppressed people. Website:

Jacquea Mae – an amazing singer, actress,and spoken word artist that has graced the mic at several open mic events, theatrical productions, & has featured as a singer at many venues throughout the city of Pgh,PA. Ms. Mae continues to receive rave reviews for her powerful, often passionate, free, uninhibited, soulful, from the gut performances. Website:


Russell Shoatz III – son of political prisoner/prisoner of war, and Abolitionist Law Center client, Russell Maroon Shoatz

Terrell Johnson & Saundra Cole – After being framed for a murder he did not commit in 1994 in the Hazelwood murder of Pittsburgh, Terrell Johnson and his wife Saundra Cole set out on a mission to free him. In 2012 he was released from 17 years in prison after being acquitted at a retrial.

Donna Hill – President of Fight for Lifers West and mother of Charmaine Pfender, an Abolitionist Law Center client who has spent 29 years in prison for killing a man who was attempting to rape her. Self-defense is not a crime!

Jasmine Gonzales-Rose – Critical Race scholar, University of Pitt Law Professor, and Abolitionist Law Center board member

Bret Grote – Co-founder and executive director of the Abolitionist Law Center


Fundraiser Update: 30 Days Left to Raise $6,000!

Maroon Released from Solitary: What’s Next?

The litigation on behalf of Russell Maroon Shoatz is still active. The Abolitionist Law Center and the rest of Maroon’s legal team will continue our work on his behalf, until we are assured that he cannot be placed back into solitary confinement at the arbitrary whim of prison officials.

Our work on behalf of Arthur Johnson is also moving forward. We are in the preparatory stages of bringing a lawsuit to end his 34 consecutive years of solitary confinement. These preparations include gathering documentary records, client visits, legal research, and organizing educational programs to inform the public about Arthur’s case.

The Abolitionist Law Center thanks all our donors for your support, without which this victory would not be possible. The fight continues, both on behalf of Maroon and the many other prisoners being subjected to inhumane conditions. We ask you and everyone else concerned with the inhumane conditions in Pennsylvania’s prison to continue to support us in our work to end the practice of long-term solitary confinement.

Donations can be made via PayPal at our Indiegogo page, or they may be mailed to Abolitionist Law Center, P.O. Box 8654, Pittsburgh, PA 15221

Funds Needed to Continue Working to End Long-Term Solitary Confinement

About Our Work

A prisoner held in solitary confinement lives in a 9×7 room with no human contact for 23-24 hours a day. These conditions are generally believed to cause serious mental illness and emotional suffering, particularly as the duration of solitary confinement increases. A recent Department of Justice investigation of Pennsylvania’s use of solitary confinement found that it was causing prisoners to suffer a range of serious mental disorders, which in turn caused many prisoners to engage in self-mutilation or attempt suicide. The United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture has stated that solitary confinement lasting longer than 15 days is cruel and unusual punishment and possibly torture. There are currently over 2,000 prisoners being held in solitary confinement in the Pennsylvania prison system. Many of these prisoners are held in solitary confinement for years, and sometimes for decades.

The Abolitionist Law Center (ALC) was founded in February 2013, with the goal of ending human rights abuses in the Pennsylvania prison system. We believe that prolonged solitary confinement is one of the most severe human rights abuses inside the prison walls. We are working to put an end to it by advocating for the release of those who have been in solitary confinement for the longest, and by educating the public more generally about these human rights abuses. Donations to this fundraising campaign will help us accomplish these goals, and can be made via Paypal or at our Indiegogo page. 

Extreme Cases of Solitary Confinement

We are currently suing Pennsylvania Department of Corrections officials on behalf of our client, Russell ‘Maroon’ Shoatz, who is a 70 year old man who has been held in continuous solitary confinement for 22 years. Bret Grote (Executive Director of the ALC) recently discussed Maroon’s case in detail at a panel on political prisoners and solitary confinement, which can be viewed here. The case was recently profiled on Democracy Now!, as well. We are also organizing an advocacy campaign on behalf of Arthur Johnson, a 61 year old man who has been held in continuous solitary confinement for 34 years. We will be filing a lawsuit in his case too, once we raise the necessary funds. 

Success in these cases means gaining release from solitary confinement for Maroon and Arthur. However, winning their release from solitary confinement will also help free the thousands of other prisoners being held in long-term isolation by establishing administrative and legal precedents that limit the allowable duration of solitary confinement, and by creating political pressure to end the practice entirely.

What We Need

All donations are tax-deductible and will be used to pay for costs related to Arthur and Maroon’s cases. For instance, travel to meet with Maroon and Arthur costs about $250 per trip, and we generally visit them once or twice a month. Obtaining copies of important records can cost anywhere from $300 to $1,500. We need to get copies of Arthur’s prison records going back to 1979. We are also awaiting responses from the federal Bureau of Prisons and the FBI regarding Freedom of Information Act requests for Maroon’s records, which may end up costing several hundred dollars. We will have to pay between $400 and $500 to file Arthur Johnson’s lawsuit. The cost of obtaining expert witnesses and conducting depositions is difficult to estimate with any accuracy, but it will be many thousands of dollars.  

Donations will also be used to pay our full-time legal staff. Beginning in February, we will have one full-time attorney earning $500 per week. To put this in perspective, it costs taxpayers approximately $78,000 per year to hold a single prisoner in solitary confinement. It costs us less than half that amount to employ one full-time attorney for a year, and run a law office with the purpose of getting prisoners out of solitary confinement.

Raised funds will be used to pursue Maroon and Arthur’s cases, and to further educate the public about the use of solitary confinement in prisons, whether or not the fundraising goal is met. Donations may be made at our Indiegogo page, via our PayPal account, or via the mail at Abolitionist Law Center, P.O. Box 8654, Pittsburgh, PA 15221.

Other Ways You Can Help

Please share this campaign with everyone you know. Tweet it on twitter. Post it on Facebook. Email it to friends and family. As more people interact with this campaign, Maroon and Arthur’s stories will spread, which will help to accelerate the process of gaining their release from solitary confinement.

You can also support the campaign by signing up for updates on Maroon and Arthur’s cases and by responding to Action Alerts on our website. Recent Action Alerts for Maroon and Arthur are there now. Letters and phone calls to Pennsylvania prison authorities let them know that the public is increasingly concerned about this issue, and goes a long way towards getting them to take these cases seriously.

We are also planning a statewide tour in the fall to talk about Maroon’s case and the situation in Pennsylvania’s prisons more generally. Any help organizing speaking events in Pennsylvania will be greatly appreciated.

Support the Abolitionist Law Center!

We are excited to announce the first fundraising drive of the Abolitionist Law Center!

The Abolitionist Law Center is a public interest law firm inspired by the struggle of political and politicized prisoners, and organized for the purpose of abolishing class and race based mass incarceration in the United States by litigating on behalf of people whose human rights have been violated in prison, producing educational programs to inform the general public about the evils of mass incarceration, and helping to develop a mass movement against the American penal system by building alliances and nurturing solidarity across social divisions.

Support our work by making a tax-deductible contribution today – DONATE at this link.

Our first case seeks to break new ground in the federal courts by challenging the long-term solitary confinement of Russell ‘Maroon’ Shoatz.  Held for nearly 30 years in conditions of extreme social isolation and sensory deprivation – including the last 22 years consecutively – the Abolitionist Law Center played a critical role in bringing a lawsuit challenging Maroon’s solitary confinement in May 2013.

Another ALC client – Arthur ‘Cetewayo’ Johnson – has been held in solitary confinement since 1979.  Cetewayo was politicized in the early 1970s by members of the Black Liberation Movement he met inside the prison system.  He has been targeted by prison authorities ever since.

Support our work on behalf of Maroon and other Pennsylvania prisoners in long-term isolation by making a contribution HERE.

Other projects include:

  • Investigating the health impact of a toxic coal ash site surrounding State Correctional Institution Fayette in southwestern Pennsylvania.  In October the Abolitionist Law Center filed a protest comment with the PA Department of Environmental Protection regarding the site.
  • Submitting a letter protesting the long term solitary confinement of Russell ‘Maroon’ Shoatz to the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture.  In response, the Rapporteur is seeking authorization from the U.S. State Department to visit prisons in Pennsylvania.
  • Organizing a major panel on political prisoners and solitary confinement at the National Lawyers Guild annual convention held in San Juan, Puerto Rico.  The event included panelists representing political prisoners from the Black Liberation Movement, the Puerto Rican Independence Movement, and the movement of politicized prisoners organized from Pelican Bay prison in California.  Over 150 people attended the panel, which ended with a standing ovation.

The Abolitionist Law Center seeks to challenge the status quo in the criminal legal and prison systems by building creative, principled, visionary, and lasting alliances with people and organizations inside and outside of prison who are determined to confront and defeat interconnected systems of oppression, and replace them with healthy, sustainable, and liberating alternatives.

Join us in defending human rights by making a contribution today.

Commit to becoming a long-term supporter. Tell your family, friends, and political allies. We are confident that this project will resonate in the hearts and minds of countless people who are ready to end race and class based mass imprisonment.


Bret Grote
Executive Director
Abolitionist Law Center

The official registration and financial information of Abolitionist Law Center may be obtained from the Pennsylvania Department of State by calling toll free, within Pennsylvania, 1 (800) 732-0999. Registration does not imply endorsement.