This week the NYCLU announced a settlement that will comprehensively overhaul solitary confinement in New York State prisons.
This settlement promises to end solitary confinement as we know it for more than 1,100 of the roughly 4,000 people in “the box”– who are in a cell the size of a parking space 23 hours a day. The number of people in solitary is expected to drop even more as the agreement eliminates solitary for all minor violations and puts a cap on all solitary sentences. We will finally be investing taxpayer dollars in rehabilitation—not torture—that will make prisons and communities safer and that affirms our core constitutional values.
I need your help. There has never before been an effort of this magnitude to overhaul solitary confinement in a prison system of this size, and it won’t be easy. Whether the agreement is successfully implemented will depend not only on the NYCLU’s careful monitoring, it also will depend on you letting the governor know that the public will be watching closely to make sure these promises are kept and that defenders of the status quo are not allowed to thwart these long overdue reforms.