Several key supporters of CAIC presented or submitted testimony to the New York State Assembly Standing Committee on Corrections and Assembly Standing Committee on Mental Health, which held a joint hearing on “Public Hearing on Mental Illness in Correctional Settings” in Albany on November 13, 2014. A collection of testimony appears below, and will be permanently archived […]
By Michael Virtanen. Reprinted from the Associated Press. The head of the troubled New York City jail system said Thursday it’s critical to send mentally ill inmates to treatment programs instead of a lockup. Department of Corrections Commissioner Joseph Ponte told state lawmakers that Rikers Island is poorly equipped to be a mental health treatment […]
By William Blake. Reprinted from Solitary Watch. William Blake is in solitary confinement at Elmira Correctional Facility in upstate New York. In 1987, while in county court on a drug charge, Blake, then 23, grabbed a gun from a sheriff’s deputy and, in a failed escape attempt, murdered one deputy and wounded another. He is […]
By Savannah Crowley. Excerpted from Solitary Watch. Update, 8/22/14: On Thursday, August 21, the New York City Council passed legislation introduced by Councilman Danny Dromm of Queens that would require corrections officials to release quarterly reports documenting information about inmates being held in solitary confinement at Rikers Island jail. Presenting this information to the New York […]
By Annie Wu. Excerpted from The Epoch Times. For Johnny Perez, the horrors of being placed in solitary confinement still remain fresh in his memory. More than 15 years ago, when Perez was a young teen, he was placed in solitary confinement for 60 days at the Otis Bantum Correctional Center on Rikers Island. “It’s […]
By Michael Winerip and Michael Schwirtz. Excerpted from the New York Times. After being arrested on a misdemeanor charge following a family dispute last year, Jose Bautista was unable to post $250 bail and ended up in a jail cell on Rikers Island. A few days later, he tore his underwear, looped it around his […]
June 23, 2014 A judge denied bail to a friend of the Boston Marathon bombing suspect who is being held in solitary confinement in a Plymouth county jail while he awaits trial on charges of impeding the investigation into the deadly attack. He is not charged with participating in the bombings or knowing about them […]
By Jake Pearson, Associated Press. Reprinted from ABC News. New York City lawmakers peppered correction and health officials with questions about how to reduce violence and better care for a growing mentally ill inmate population in the nation’s second-largest jail system during a specially called oversight hearing Thursday. In three hours of testimony, the commissioners […]
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.
Isolated confinement involves confining people in a cell for 22 to 24 hours a day without meaningful human contact, programming, or therapy. This practice is ineffective, counterproductive, unsafe, and inhumane, and it causes people detained in these conditions to deteriorate psychologically, physically, and socially. Despite these facts, New York utilizes isolated confinement at rates well above the national average.
CAIC brings together advocates, formerly incarcerated persons, family members of currently incarcerated people, concerned community members, lawyers, and individuals in the human rights, health, and faith communities throughout New York State. We invite individuals and organizations to join the campaign's ongoing efforts.
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Click here to view "Boxed In," a multimedia report on isolated confinement in New York's state prisons from the NYCLU.
Click here to learn about the work of the New York City Jails Action Coalition.