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#HALT Rally to End Solitary Confinement in NYS
October 2, 2019 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Our People Are Suffering & We Can’t Wait
What: #HALT Rally to End Solitary Confinement in NYS!
Where: Outside Yonkers Riverfront Public Library (1 Larkin Center)
When: Wed, 10/2 @ 12 PM (Meet @ 11:30AM)
Contact: Luke 917-702-8781
Thousands of people remain in solitary confinement in New York’s prisons and jails each day, and tens of thousands each year experience this torture: 22 to 24 hours a day in a cell without any meaningful human contact or programs. They are disproportionately Black and Latinx people, young people, gender non-conforming people, and people with mental illness.
People continue to spend months, years, and decades in solitary (including 30+ years) in NY. The sensory deprivation, lack of normal interaction, and extreme idleness of solitary can lead to intense suffering and severe psychological, physical, and even neurological damage. More than 30% of all prison suicides in New York take place in solitary.
The entire United Nations, including the US, passed rules prohibiting solitary beyond 15 days for any person, because it otherwise would amount to torture. Colorado has implemented a 15-day limit in its prisons and reduced the number of people in solitary from 1,500 to 18. The HALT Solitary Confinement Act (S1623-Sepulveda / A2500-Aubry) similarly includes a 15-day limit on solitary, and would create more humane and effective alternatives. A summary of the bill can be found here. The bill passed the State Assembly in 2018 by a vote of 99 to 45.
34 New York State Senators from Long Island to Upstate New York are officially co-sponsoring the HALT Solitary Confinement Act – a clear majority – and additional Senators have committed to vote for the bill, as well. 79 New York State Assembly Members also officially co-sponsor HALT – another clear majority – and the bill passed in that house in 2018.
The New York City Council passed a resolution in support of HALT, the second such statement by a local government (in May 2019, the Tompkins County Legislature also passed a resolution supporting HALT). The Progressive Caucus and the Women’s Caucus of the NYC Council have called for a complete end to solitary confinement.
States that have reduced the use of solitary have seen a positive impact on safety for both incarcerated people and staff. Community members are calling for New York State Legislators and Governor Cuomo to pass HALT on the very next day the legislature is in session, and calling on New York City to act before then to end solitary completely in the City jails.
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