New York City Council Header
File #: Res 1712-2013    Version: * Name: Dept of Correction to end the practice of placing individuals returning to City jails into punitive segregation to complete time owed.
Type: Resolution Status: Filed
Committee: Committee on Fire and Criminal Justice Services
On agenda: 4/9/2013
Enactment date: Law number:
Title: Resolution calling on the New York City Department of Correction to end the practice of placing individuals returning to City jails into punitive segregation, also known as solitary confinement, to complete time owed.
Sponsors: Daniel Dromm , Charles Barron, Gale A. Brewer, Margaret S. Chin, Leroy G. Comrie, Jr., Letitia James, Brad S. Lander, Melissa Mark-Viverito, Rosie Mendez, Annabel Palma, Deborah L. Rose, Jumaane D. Williams, Ruben Wills, Daniel R. Garodnick, Jessica S. Lappin, Albert Vann, Daniel J. Halloran III
Council Member Sponsors: 17
Res. No. 1712
 
 
Resolution calling on the New York City Department of Correction to end the practice of placing individuals returning to City jails into punitive segregation, also known as solitary confinement, to complete time owed.
 
 
By Council Members Dromm, Barron, Brewer, Chin, Comrie, James, Lander, Mark-Viverito, Mendez, Palma, Rose, Williams, Wills, Garodnick, Lappin, Vann and Halloran
 
      Whereas, The New York City Department of Correction ("DOC") is charged with overseeing and providing for the care, custody and control of individuals 16 years of age and older who are accused of crimes or convicted and sentenced to one year or less of incarceration; and
      Whereas, Punitive segregation consists of single-cell housing units where inmates who have been found guilty of violating DOC rules may be temporarily housed as a sanction for their offense; and
      Whereas, DOC informs incarcerated individuals of department rules by publishing an inmate handbook that identifies prohibited conduct and a rulebook that lists the sanctions that may be imposed by a guilty finding; and
      Whereas, Individuals assigned to punitive segregation are often deprived of human contact and other sensory and intellectual stimulation,  and such segregation can be deleterious to physical and mental health; and
      Whereas, A growing body of academic research has found that solitary confinement can cause severe psychological damage and may in fact increase both violent behavior and suicide among incarcerated individuals; and
      Whereas, According to inmate advocates, often times inmates with drug or mental health issues are placed back into punitive segregation without adequate treatment, which exacerbates their conditions; and
      Whereas, According to a September 2012 DOC report, since January 2010, DOC has added 283 punitive segregation beds, increasing the capacity of its punitive segregation housing areas from 752 to 1,035 beds; and
      Whereas, For many years DOC's policy dictated that when an inmate assigned to punitive segregation is released from DOC before completing his or her punitive segregation time, he or she is required to serve the remaining days in punitive segregation if he or she returns to DOC facilities; and
Whereas, In January of 2012, DOC modified its policy and began expunging time owed for certain infractions from prior incarcerations; and
Whereas, Currently, minor infractions older than a year and any serious infraction such as the use of a weapon, arson, or assault on staff which is older than two years are expunged for individuals returning to jail; and
      Whereas, Imposition of time owed is without regard to the person's conduct and experience in the intervening period; and
      Whereas, An inmate released and then returned to DOC custody should be placed in punitive segregation only upon the commission of new acts of misconduct which warrant such severe punishment; and
      Whereas, Notwithstanding the recent changes to DOC's policy, DOC should end its current punitive segregation policy of time owed and terminate all required time owed when an individual leaves DOC custody; now, therefore, be it
      Resolved, That the Council of the City of New York calls on the New York City Department of Correction to end the practice of placing individuals returning to City jails into punitive segregation, also known as solitary confinement, to complete time owed.
WJH
LS 4203
4/4/13