The New York Metropolis Council moved to largely ban solitary confinement in metropolis jails in a 39-7 vote Wednesday and in addition added new restrictions on different security administration ways.
The council’s newly handed bill would prohibit putting inmates in solitary confinement for greater than eight hours at night time to sleep or for greater than two hours in the course of the day in a 24-hour interval, until for functions of de-escalating violence or emergency lock-ins. Restrictions within the invoice embrace limitations on de-escalation confinement, emergency lock-ins, and using restraints.
One of many extra controversial parts of the invoice provides new due course of issues for the location of prisoners in restrictive housing. Restrictive housing is outlined within the invoice as “any housing space that separates incarcerated individuals from the overall jail inhabitants on the premise of safety issues or self-discipline.” The invoice requires a listening to and ensures due course of rights the place an inmate can contest removing from the overall inhabitants.
Town council cited the extremely damaging results of solitary confinement on prisoners, together with a heightened danger of loss of life, and issues about its disproportionate impact on minorities as causes for passing the invoice:
Solitary confinement has [been shown] to induce acute anxiousness, melancholy, psychosis, and different impairments which can severely cut back one’s capability to reintegrate upon launch. In New York Metropolis, these disastrous results are felt nearly solely by Black and brown individuals, who make up over 90% of all individuals in metropolis jails.
New York Metropolis Mayor Eric Adams denounced the invoice in an announcement, saying that it posed a menace to the Division of Corrections’ capability to guard inmates and jail guards. Adams asserted that, whereas he opposes solitary confinement, he can be “reviewing all choices” in response to the invoice. The invoice both requires Adams’ signature or a subsequent two-thirds vote of the council to beat a possible veto.
The trouble to ban solitary confinement in NYC comes after different notable circumstances regarding the topic, together with a lawsuit filed by Pennsylvania prisoners regarding general situations they described as “torturous” and a latest refusal from the US Supreme Court docket to listen to a problem from an inmate of the Pontiac Correctional Facility in Illinois over train deprivation.