Solitary confinement continues in New York
Jul 06, 2020 6:33 am
The Times Union reports that it has been a year since Gov. Andrew Cuomo said New York would reform the use of solitary confinement in state prisons, but little has changed at this point. While solitary confinement is often listed by protesters in the streets as a necessary criminal reform, new rules proposed last August have yet to be finalized by the state, “I'm not happy about it, by any stretch of the imagination,” said state Sen. Luis Sepulveda, a Democrat from the Bronx who chairs the chamber's Crime Victims, Crime and Correction Committee. “If (Cuomo's regulatory change) is the best we can have right now, then I want to make sure that at least this has been enforced.” Last year Cuomo claimed the Humane Alternatives to Long Term Solitary Confinement Act, would cost too much, and then it failed to pass last in the legislature. Sepulveda said those costs were exaggerated. “There will be some cost to enforce HALT, but not $1 billion.” he said. Protesters in the streets are now looking closely at issues such as this to see what they can change. The Rosendale Accountability Committee, for instance, meets for the first time at 6 p.m., July 6 in Willow Kiln Park and in a Zoom meeting online. Protesters nationwide are observing a "blackout day" July 7, to avoid purchasing for 24 hours. Later in the week there are protests planned in Cairo, Kinderhook, Ghent, Chatham, Kingston, Newburgh, Monticello, and North Adams in Massachusetts.