NYC Public Advocate Responds To New Poll Showing Widespread Support For Banning Solitary Confinement

November 17th, 2022

Press Release

Public Advocate Jumaane D. William released the following statement in response to new polling that shows broad nationwide support for policies to restrict and end the use of solitary confinement. His bill with Committee on Criminal Justice Chair Carlina Rivera to create an enforceable ban on solitary in New York City has supermajority support in the City Council.

"This new polling shows that there is nationwide bipartisan support for ending solitary confinement, a torture that is currently permitted and practiced within our city. Furthermore, this support falls in line with the framework our bill codifies – prohibiting the harm of isolation, while allowing for separation to ensure safety, de-escalation, and investigation of misconduct.

"With a real, enforceable ban solitary within our city, we have an opportunity to make New York City a leader in the effort to reform a system of legal justice that has for far too long been unjust. Our bill has supermajority City Council support, our policies have nationwide majority support, and it’s time to pass it.

"New York is still purported to be a progressive beacon. As we learned from last week’s results, it's vital that on issues of justice and public safety, we have to stand up for our values and stand behind the facts and data, not the hysteria and misinformation. Rikers Island is under crisis conditions that harm people on both sides of the bars, and changing that status will require coming together to address the reality of the harm, not ignoring it."

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