Two upcoming events hosted by the Jails Action Coalition (JAC) give New Yorker’s the opportunity to speak out against the use of solitary confinement in New York City’s jails.
On any given day, over 1,000 of the approximately 12,300 people held on Rikers Island and in other city jails are in solitary confinement. Even as other prison and jail systems are reducing their use of solitary, the number of isolation cells has increased 44 percent in the past two years. Those held in isolation include children under 18 and people with serious mental illness.
On Thursday, April 4, JAC will host a rally outside the monthly meeting of the New York City Board of Correction, the body that oversees city jails. The rally will take place at noon at New York City Hall, 250 Broadway; the BOC meeting, which is open to the public, follows at 1:00 pm on the 16th floor.
On Tuesday, April 9, at 11 am, JAC will hold a rally and press conference on the steps of City Hal, 260 Broadway. The group will call on the Board of Corrections to adopt changes to the minimum standards regulating conditions of confinement in the city’s jails. These new standards would severely restrict the use of solitary confinement. Organizations and individuals wishing to endorse the call for new minimum standards should immediately contact Susan Goodwillie at SGoodwillie@urbanjustice.org.
In addition, concerned members of the public are invited to attend the next meeting of JAC, on Thursday, April 4, from 6:00 to 8:00 pm at the offices of the American Friends Service Committee, 15 Rutherford Place between 15th and 16th Streets, New York, NY. (For more information call Dilcio at (646)602-5666 or email nycjailsactioncoalition@gmail.