Thousands of incarcerated New Yorkers endure conditions that threaten their health, safety, and human dignity. Solitary confinement subjects people to torturous isolation, leading to trauma and exacerbating health conditions. Children in detention have been sexually harassed and mistreated. A culture of violence and retribution plagues Rikers Island and other jails, while the deterioration of some facilities have left residents in unsafe environments.

Through litigation, advocacy, and legislation, the NYCLU works to improve the conditions in which incarcerated people must live, and encourages a shift from punishment to restorative approaches in the criminal system.