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Legislature Supports “HALT Act”

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Legislature Supports “HALT Act”

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Acting on a measure advanced by Legislator Shawna Black, the Legislature went on record in support of the proposed Humane Alternatives to Long-Term Isolated Confinement (HALT) Act, now before the New York State Senate and Assembly.  The vote was 12-0, with Legislator Dan Klein abstaining (Mr. Klein is a seasonal employee of the NYS Department of Corrections.)  The measure, in part, calls the conditions of isolated confinement “inhumane and dangerous”, states that New York utilizes long-term isolated confinement at rates well above the national average, and cites racial and ethnic overrepresentation inside confinement units, as well as in our nation’s prisons in general.  The Legislature heard four expressions of public support for passage.

The resolution notes that the HALT Act “would limit the time an inmate can spend in isolated confinement or residential rehabilitation units, end the isolated confinement of vulnerable people, restrict the criteria that can result in such confinement, improve conditions of confinement, and create more human and effective alternatives to such confinement.”