New York limits solitary confinement in prisons and jails

Updated: May 22

With the arrival of a new administration and new hope for several states across the country, changes regarding several American institutions are underway, including the limitation of solitary confinement in New York prisons and jails to 15 consecutive days.


The New York Senate passed a bill Thursday which would limit the total amount of time a prisoner spends in solitary confinement, even banning it for some demographics. This bill, the Human Alternatives to Long-Term Solitary Confinement Act, was passed 42-21 and would prohibit inmates from being sent to solitary confinement for more than 15 consecutive days or 20 days in total during a 60-day period. Confinement would also be completely prohibited from being enacted on individuals with mental or physical disabilities, pregnant women or those in post-partum recovery, and inmates either under 21 or older than 55, as reported by CNN.


The HALT Act would require prisoners in confinement to be offered at least four hours of recreation outside of their cells and one hour of time outside. Meanwhile, solitary confinement as a punishment should only be enacted on an inmate in the cases of "imminent serious physical injury."


While this is a step towards proper criminal justice reform in the United States, this country still has a ways to go in terms of achieving justice for inhumane treatment of prisoners in all aspects of the law.

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