Law \ Legal

New York Still Utilizing Solitary Despite Recent Ban

Newly published New York state data reveals that prison officials continue to hold hundreds of people in solitary confinement for long stretches of time, despite a new state law, called the HALT Solitary Act, which prohibited the placement of any incarcerated person in solitary confinement, known as “segregated confinement,” for more than 15 days in a row, and more than 20 nonconsecutive days in a 60-day period, reports Gothamist.

The latest statistics show that as of Aug. 1, 228 people were held for longer than 15 days, including 50 locked in for between 31 and 90 days. Of all 490 people held in the solitary units known as segregated housing, the average length of stay was 16.1 days. Despite the provision in the law against holding people for more than 20 nonconsecutive days in a two-month period, state data shows that 576 people were nonetheless locked in for such stretches. The state Department of Corrections and Community Supervision referenced “transfers” of incarcerated people held in solitary confinement, known as segregated housing units, to other units as an explanation. The state’s compliance with the law has faltered since May.

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