CA APPLAUDS AGREEMENT WITH NEW YORK STATE ON THE USE OF SOLITARY CONFINEMENT IN NYS STATE PRISONS

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact:
Annette Warren-Dickerson, Communications Director, adickerson@correctionalassociation.org;
646-539-5911

Soffiyah Elijah, Executive Director, selijah@correctionalassociation.org
617-905-7623

CORRECTIONAL ASSOCIATION OF NY APPLAUDS AGREEMENT WITH NEW YORK STATE ON
THE USE OF SOLITARY CONFINEMENT IN NYS STATE PRISONS

Hails agreement as a welcome step in the right direction

(December 16, 2015, New York, NY): Today, the Correctional Association of New York (CA), the state’s oldest criminal justice reform organization, released the following statement in reaction to the announcement of an agreement with the state of New York resulting from litigation challenging NYDOCCS’  use of solitary confinement:

“The CA hails the agreement in Peoples v. Fischer as a welcome and critical step in the right direction towards ending the torture of solitary confinement in NYS prisons. We are pleased that the agreement possesses several key elements necessary to any reform efforts, including: limiting lengths of time in solitary; creating more humane and effective alternatives to solitary, limiting the reasons people are sent to solitary; training of staff and greater accountability; and removal of those from solitary who are most vulnerable to the damage caused by such conditions.

The CA has been raising the issue of the use of solitary confinement in NYS prisons for many years as part of our legislative mandate to monitor and report on conditions faced by those men, women, and youth who are behind prison walls. The settlement agreement and the reforms it will make possible are clear examples of how litigation can complement legislative, policy, and community-based advocacy to achieve meaningful systemic change.  Furthermore, we are hopeful that this agreement can help further efforts to end solitary confinement and result in the passage of the Humane Alternatives to Long-Term (HALT) Solitary Confinement Act, A. 4401 / S. 2659, by the New York State Legislature, thereby enshrining into law and building upon these and additional long-overdue reforms of this torturous practice.”