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NYCLU finds solitary confinement up in NY prisons

Oct 28, 2019 12:45 pm
Erin Durkin is reporting for Politico New York incarcerated people are being put in solitary confinement more often in New York state prisons, despite a legal settlement meant to restrict the practice, according to a new report by the New York Civil Liberties Union. Individuals were placed in some form of solitary more than 38,000 times in 2018, up from 37,600 in 2015, according to the report. The NYCLU sued the state over its use of solitary confinement, and reached a settlement to overhaul the practice in 2015. However, prisons now increasingly rely on a different practice, known as Keeplock. While the Keeplock policy is less restrictive than the traditional special housing unit solitary confinement, it still keeps prisoners in their cells for up to 23 hours a day. “It’s very disturbing,” said Phil Desgranges, a senior staff attorney at the NYCLU. “...People are being moved from one form of solitary to another.” While the number of special housing unit solitary sanctions has dropped by almost 20 percent, the number of Keeplock sanctions has increased. The NYCLU is now pushing for passage of the HALT Act, which would cap the amount of time an incarcerated person can serve in solitary at 15 consecutive days. According to the data obtained by the NYCLU, 31 percent of those in special housing units as of October 1 had a diagnosed mental health problem. Eight percent were between the ages of 18 and 21, and 3 percent were 55 or older. The HALT Act would ban solitary confinement for all of those populations. Read the full story at Politico New York.
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