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.

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.

NEWS AND VIEWS

NEWS: Widespread Brutality and Solitary Confinement Followed New York Prison Escape, Report Finds

By Julia Hettiger. Reprinted from Solitary Watch. One year after the high-profile escape of two men from Clinton Correctional Facility, the Correctional Association of New York, the state’s oldest prison reform organization, has released a scathing new report on the brutality that followed the escape. Voices from Clinton documents cruelty often rising to the level of […]

NEWS: New Yorkers Fight For Solitary Confinement Reforms: “It’s Like Being In A Coffin”

By Jack Denton. Excerpted from Gothamist. APRIL 13 — Yesterday morning in Albany’s Legislative Office Building, Alecia Barraza’s voice cracked as she described her 21-year-old son’s mental decline and eventual suicide during his isolation in solitary confinement at Fishkill Correctional Facility in Dutchess County. “We live with this tragedy every day,” Barraza said of the death […]

NEWS: NY CAIC Responds to Obama’s Announcement of Limits on Federal Solitary Confinement

On January 27, the New York Campaign for Alternatives to Isolated Confinement issued the following statement on President Obama’s executive actions to restrict solitary confinement. President Obama has joined the growing chorus of community leaders, incarcerated individuals and their families, medical professionals, scientists, legal scholars, advocates for human rights, and everyday people in calling solitary confinement what it […]

NEWS: How the Landmark Settlement Will—and Will Not—Change Solitary Confinement in New York’s Prisons

By Jean Casella. Excerpted from Solitary Watch. The settlement announced Wednesday by the New York Civil Liberties Union in the Peoples v Fischer case brings broad, deep, and meaningful change to the way New York utilizes solitary confinement in its state prisons. It is a significant and hard-won victory for the plaintiffs, their attorneys, and […]

NEWS: New York State Agrees to Overhaul Solitary Confinement in Prisons

By Michael Schwirtz and Michael Winerip. Excerpted from the New York Times. New York has agreed to a major overhaul in the way solitary confinement is administered in the state’s prisons, with the goal of significantly reducing the number of inmates held in isolation, cutting the maximum length of stay and improving their living conditions. […]

NEWS: Historic Settlement Overhauls Solitary Confinement in New York

Reprinted from the New York Civil Liberties Union December 16, 2015 — The New York Civil Liberties Union and New York State today announced a settlement agreement that will comprehensively overhaul solitary confinement in New York State — one of the largest prison systems in the country — and provide a framework for ending the state’s […]

NEWS: State Inmates in Solitary Confinement Surpass 4,000 Despite Vows to Limit Use

By Keri Blakinger and Reuven Blau. Reprinted from the New York Daily News. The number of state prison inmates tossed in solitary confinement has surpassed 4,000 for the first time in three years, despite vows by officials to limit its use, the Daily News has learned. And prison advocates say there’s been an increase since […]

NEWS: Model Cell Teaches New Yorkers About Solitary Confinement and the HALT Act

Read the article on Fusion. Watch the video here:

NEWS: NY Activists Urge End to Solitary Confinement

By Alyssa Pagano. Reprinted from Juvenile Justice Information Exchange. NEW YORK — Correctional officers brought Tama Bell’s mentally ill son to the brink of suicide for throwing a rag on a table, she says. Bell’s son, Masai, was at Mid­-State Correctional Facility in Marcy, N.Y., in 2014 for a psychiatric evaluation and had gotten a […]

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