Saturday, December 19, 2015
New York agrees to changes to state's solitary confinement practices
The Atlantic's Matt Ford explains:
New York will enact major changes to its use of solitary confinement in prisons as part of a settlement with the New York Civil Liberties Union, the state announced Wednesday. The announcement from one of the nation’s largest prison systems caps the most successful year yet for solitary-reform advocates.
Under the agreement, about one-quarter of the state’s 4,000 prisoners in solitary confinement will be placed in less isolated housing. New York will also reduce the use of solitary for future inmates by limiting both the reasons they can be placed in it and the time they spend in it. Some of solitary confinement’s more troubling aspects will also be curtailed: Prison officials will no longer be allowed to use food as punishment, and pregnant inmates won’t be placed in solitary “except in exceptional circumstances.”
The agreement, which will needs approval from a federal judge before it goes into effect, was reached after two years of negotiations following a NYCLU lawsuit.
Read the full article here.