The use of solitary confinement in New York’s jails and prisons is inhumane. Thousands of New Yorkers are subjected to prolonged solitary confinement despite the growing body of research demonstrating that it can irreparably damage an individual’s health. Under state law, correctional officers have broad discretion to subject people to 23-hour isolation for prolonged periods of time, even for minor misbehavior, and including those most vulnerable to the psychological and physical harms of isolation. This discretion permits overt and implicit bias to corrupt the disciplinary process.
The HALT Solitary Confinement Act will end the most harmful uses of isolation and solitary confinement currently in practice throughout New York. The New York Civil Liberties Union supports this legislation and calls for its prompt passage.