Public Advocate's Statement On Preventing Solitary Confinement In NYC

December 21st, 2021

Press Release

"Solitary confinement is torture, and punitive segregation as it has been defined by the city is solitary confinement by another name. The United Nations has called for the abolition of solitary confinement, yet just a few miles away on Rikers Island, the practice continued unabated for years.

"This year, the city was finally set to implement the new Risk Management Assessment System, which was an insufficient but important step, before the administration paused it and prevented progress. As a new administration comes into office, the focus should be on creating the infrastructure needed to implement new systems and programs while ensuring that incarcerated people and corrections staff are safe, not on preserving the harmful practices of the past. Simultaneously, this means we need to continue efforts to decarcerate whenever possible as we advance the plan to expeditiously close Rikers. Passing legislation in the City Council to prohibit solitary, enshrining policy into law, is also essential and urgent. 

"This is a moment when we need to move forward; we cannot and will not go back. I intend to work with the incoming administration on achieving these goals."

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