New York City Council Header
File #: Res 2007-2009    Version: * Name: Ban the practice of placing prison inmates in solitary confinement and provide supportive services to all inmates leaving solitary confinement from NYS operated prison systems.
Type: Resolution Status: Filed
Committee: Committee on Fire and Criminal Justice Services
On agenda: 6/10/2009
Enactment date: Law number:
Title: Resolution calling upon the New York State Legislature and the Governor to ban the practice of placing prison inmates in solitary confinement and provide supportive services to all inmates leaving solitary confinement from New York State operated prison systems.
Sponsors: Inez E. Dickens, Helen D. Foster, Letitia James, Darlene Mealy, Annabel Palma, Larry B. Seabrook, Thomas White, Jr.
Council Member Sponsors: 7

Res. No. 2007

 

Resolution calling upon the New York State Legislature and the Governor to ban the practice of placing prison inmates in solitary confinement and provide supportive services to all inmates leaving solitary confinement from New York State operated prison systems.

 

By Council Members Dickens, Foster, James, Mealy, Palma, Seabrook and White Jr.

 

                     Whereas, Solitary confinement is generally used as a tool to punish inmates who continually violate rules in state run correction facilities; and

                     Whereas, The criteria for the isolation of prisoners vary by state but typically include not only the commission of violent infractions, but also violation of prison rules or association with gang members; and

                     Whereas, Solitary confinement generally constitutes segregating an inmate for 23 hours a day, allowing the inmate out only to shower or get outdoor exercise in a small caged space, and disallowing any contact with the outside world; and

                     Whereas, Studies have shown that solitary confinement can cause severe psychiatric distress to an inmate as well as cause long-standing social disorders; and

                     Whereas, An increasing number of jurists throughout the world have concluded that solitary confinement constitutes cruel and unusual punishment and view solitary confinement as torture; and

                     Whereas, According to a recent study, about 44,000 state prisoners, or two-thirds of the entire state prison population, are from New York City; and

                     Whereas, Between 1998-2001, over half of New York State’s correctional system suicides occurred in 23 hour lockdown, although inmates in these units comprised less than 10 percent of the general population; and

                     Whereas, Several states, including Oregon and Colorado, offer progressive programs, such as inmate therapy sessions and anger management classes, to prisoners scheduled to be released to society from solitary confinement; and

                     Whereas, It is paramount that New York State prisons offer similar services to help inmates who have been held in solitary confinement transition back into society, so that they may contribute to their community; now, therefore, be it

                     Resolved, That the Council of the City of New York calls upon the New York State Legislature and the Governor to ban the practice of placing prison inmates in solitary confinement and provide supportive services to all inmates leaving solitary confinement from New York State operated prison systems.

 

WJH

6/4/09

LS# 7387