TAKE ACTION NOW TO END THE TORTURE OF SOLITARY CONFINEMENT IN NY!

RSVP for our upcoming Advocacy Day to demand passage of the HALT Solitary Confinement Act: https://goo.gl/z22oVf

Sign the petition to support the HALT Solitary Confinement Act: https://goo.gl/HLwqbK

Encourage your organization to endorse the HALT Solitary Confinement Act: https://goo.gl/forms/FM2F6DZAcPZp1co32


The goal of the Campaign for Alternatives to Isolated Confinement (CAIC) is sweeping reform of New York’s use of solitary confinement and other forms of extreme isolation in state prisons and local jails. Currently, we are working toward passage of the Humane Alternative to Long-Term (HALT) Solitary Confinement Act in the New York State Legislature.

Isolated confinement involves confining people for 22 to 24 hours a day, without meaningful human contact, programming, or therapy, in cells smaller than the average parking space. This practice is ineffective, unsafe, and inhumane. It causes people detained in these conditions to deteriorate psychologically, physically, and also harms their families and communities.

Despite these facts, New York utilizes isolated confinement at rates well above the national average, with some 4,000 people in isolation in state prisons, and hundreds more in local jails. Although the UN has said that solitary confinement beyond 14 days can amount to torture, many individuals in New York remain in isolation for months, years, or even decades.

Close to 4,000 men, women, and children are in isolated confinement in New York's state prisons.
Hundreds people are in solitary confinement in New York City's jails.
Most of New York's isolation cells are smaller than a parking space.
Individuals can spend months, years, or decades in isolated confinement.
Solitary confinement in excess of 15 days is widely considered to be torture.

UPCOMING CAIC EVENTS AND ACTIONS

THE CAIC BLOG: NEWS ON SOLITARY CONFINEMENT IN NEW YORK

NEWS: CAIC to Cuomo: Spend 24 Hours in Solitary Confinement

by Victoria Law. Excerpted from The Nation. After being accused of cursing at a corrections officer, Jessica Concepcion, seven months pregnant, spent the Christmas of 2006 in solitary confinement at Bedford Hills, New York’s maximum-security prison for women. Confined to her a cell for 23 consecutive hours, she had no opportunity for any human interaction, […]

NEWS: Report on Solitary Confinement at NY’s Southport Prison Exposes “Torturous Environment”

by Victoria Law. Excerpted from Solitary Watch. Imagine row after row of cell doors that rarely open and row after row of people trapped behind those doors, in small cells, day after day. Imagine having to hold most of your conversations by shouting through your cell door at voices whose faces you cannot see; imagine […]

VOICES: CAIC Members Give Powerful Testimony About Solitary in New Video Series

“We Are Witnesses” is a new series of short videos produced by The Marshall Project and The New Yorker, offering incredibly powerful testimony from 20 people whose lives have become enmeshed in the U.S. criminal system. Two of the videos feature CAIC members. One is about Alicia Barraza and Doug Van Zandt, whose son Ben committed suicide in […]

NEWS: Coalition of State Lawmakers Urges New York to End Solitary Confinement

On November 9, more than 40 New York State legislators signed a strongly worded letter to Governor Andrew Cuomo and Corrections Commissioner Anthony Annucci to end the use of extended solitary confinement in the state’s prisons and local jails. “[W]e respectfully urge you to end the torture of long-term segregated confinement and replace it with […]

EVENTS: What People Locked Up For 23 Hours A Day Yearn To See

By Victoria Law. Excerpted from Gothamist.  No one knows exactly how many people are held in solitary confinement throughout New York State. There’s the SHU, or Special Housing Unit, a special unit dedicated to locking people away from other. Then there’s keeplock, where people are confined to the cells in their housing units. There’s also protective custody, […]

NEWS: Fixing Solitary Confinement in New York State Prisons

By Katherine Todrys, Human Rights Watch New York Committee. Reprinted from the Huffington Post. Victor Pate spent almost two years in solitary confinement in New York prisons, off and on. Once, he said, he was isolated for 90 days for having too many bed sheets in his room. Only two sheets were allowed per prisoner, but […]

NEWS: The Voices Drove Him to Prison. The Prison Drove Him to Suicide.

By JB Nicholas. Excerpted from The Daily Beast. Benjamin Van Zandt’s hellish odyssey through New York’s criminal justice system began when the voices inside his head compelled him to light a neighbor’s house on fire. While the occupants of the house were away, and no one was hurt, the 17-year-old schizophrenic and psychotic depressive was prosecuted […]

NEWS: Advocates Rally in Harlem to Call on Cuomo to End Solitary Confinement

By Dartunorro Clark. Reprinted from dnainfo.com. HARLEM — Victor Pate gave up and started talking to himself. Pate, 64, did a three-month stint in solitary confinement for 23 hours a day during the late 1980s when he was imprisoned in Sing Sing. Pate, a Harlem resident, said the loss of human contact during that time drove […]

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