CAIC Petition for HALT 2018
New York State prisons and jails subject thousands of people every day to the torture of isolated confine¬ment, mostly for minor rule infractions. People in isolated confinement (or “solitary,” a.k.a. the Box) are held in their cells 22 to 24 hours a day, for months, years, and even decades at a time without any meaningful human contact or programming. People of color are disproportionately subjected to isolation. Particularly vulnerable groups, like young people and those with mental health needs, are also disproportionately held in isolation. These conditions amount to torture and must stop! With President Obama’s affirmation of what we already know – namely that the use of isolated confinement makes us all less safe – the time has come for New York State to finally act.

We, the undersigned, urge Governor Cuomo, the New York State Legislature, the Department of Corrections and Community Supervision (DOCCS), and local Departments of Corrections to end the torture of isolated confinement, and to pass the Humane Alternatives to Long Term (HALT) Solitary Confinement Act, A. 3080 / S. 4784. HALT would prohibit placing anyone in isolated confinement for more than 15 consecutive days, and would create more humane and effective alternatives. HALT would also restrict what infractions can lead to isolated confinement, ban is use for particularly vulnerable groups, and make prison and jail disciplinary processes fairer, with more transparency and accountability.

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