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Passage of Anti-Solitary Confinement Legislation Urged

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Passage of Anti-Solitary Confinement Legislation Urged

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

The Legislature, by unanimous vote (Legislator Nate Shinagawa was excused) urged the New York State Assembly and Senate to pass The Humane Alternatives to Long-Term (HALT) Solitary Confinement Act, as recommended by the Legislature’s Public Safety; Budget, Capital, and Personnel; and Workforce Diversity and Inclusion Committees.  The HALT bill, as described in the resolution, essentially calls for the creation of alternatives to isolated confinement; states that no person may be held in isolated confinement more than 15 consecutive days, or 20 days total in any 60-day period; restricts criteria for placement in isolated confinement; and bans several special populations from isolated confinement. 

Noting that a number of people in the community have been working on and proposing this, Budget/Personnel Chair Jim Dennis said, “It’s time to do this…you have to do the right thing and pass this resolution.”  Legislator Mike Sigler, who supported the resolution, said before the vote that the legislation does not, and it not intended to address those in “super-max” incarceration facilities.