The news is abuzz about changes regarding young people in solitary at Rikers and other New York City jails. SRLP is excited to share this insightful article by Victoria Law (author of “Resistance Behind Bars” and “Don’t Leave Your Friends Behind”) highlighting the work of our friends and comrades at the NYC Jails Action Coalition and the further roads we need to create together: http://wagingnonviolence.org/feature/solitary-yet-rikers-advocates-keep-fighting/
These changes happened because formerly incarcerated people, their loved ones, and advocates engaged in all manner of advocacy and civil disobedience. You can read about their efforts and join them for the next meeting on their website: http://www.nycjac.org
What does the new rule limiting solitary confinement in NYC jails provide for?
- Exclusion of 16 and 17 year olds from solitary
- Exclusion of incarcerated people with serious mental or serious physical disabilities
- Exclusion of18 to 21 year olds in 2016 (provided there’s funding for alternatives)
- Maximum 30-day sentence for any infraction
- Maximum of 30 consecutive days in solitary confinement – must be released from solitary for 7 days
- Maximum of 60 days total in a 6-month period – unless “continues to engage in Maximum of 30 consecutive days in solitary confinement – must be released from solitary for 7 days
- Maximum of 60 days total in a 6-month period – unless “continues to engage in persistent acts of violence” (Chief of Department must approve any extension, and DOC must report to BOC and DOHMH immediately.)
- 7 hours out-of-cell time for any punitive segregation sentence for non-violent or grade 2 offense
- 40 hours of training for COs assigned to punitive segregation housing
- End of practice of requiring person to serve punitive segregation time owed from previous incarceration (aka “old bing time”)
As you share this news please keep in mind that these changes are only one step in a larger campaign. We need and deserve more and we will continue to work, led by those most affected, towards the world we can collectively create.