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Group says passing HALT Act would save NY money

Nov 29, 2020 6:00 am
Amanda Fries is reporting for the Times Union the state could save as much as $132 million if the use of solitary confinement was reduced in prisons and jails, according to a report released by the Partnership for Public Good. The report written by the Buffalo Niagara community-based think tank found that passing the Humane Alternatives to Long-Term Solitary Confinement, or HALT Act would save the state and local government $1.3 billion over 10 years. The finding directly contradicts Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s reason for withholding support of the HALT legislation. The bill would limit the time a person can spend in segregated confinement to a maximum of 15 consecutive days and create “more humane and effective alternatives,” among other initiatives. Even with broad support among legislators, it did not pass last year after Cuomo claimed it would cost too much to implement. Instead, the governor came to an agreement with the Legislature to implement a series of regulations with the same intent as the HALT Act, but with milder changes. Those regulations still are not in effect. Given the multi-billion-dollar deficit the state faces due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Partnership for Public Good argues in its 32-page report, the HALT Act should be passed to help save money. Read the full story in the Times Union.
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