Law enforcement officials push back on new segregated confinement law
There is growing pushback from law enforcement officials about a new law that just passed that restricts the amount of time an inmate can spend in segregated confinement.
Law enforcement officials are now looking to amend the HALT Solitary Confinement Act, also known as The Humane Alternatives to Long-Term Solitary Confinement Act.
The law limits the amount of time an incarcerated person can spend in segregated confinement to just 15 days.
The law also keeps certain vulnerable populations away from segregated confinement such as the young, elderly, pregnant women and those with disabilities and mental illness.
It will also provide Residential Rehabilitation Units to give inmates therapeutic and trauma-informed programming.
Officials from the Hudson Valley played a vital role in the passage of this legislation and most say there are life-long consequences on physical and emotional health. They note that it disproportionately impacts Black incarcerated people who represent 60% of New Yorkers held in solitary confinement units. “Passing the HALT Solitary Confinement Act is a vital step in the fight for restorative and racial justice,” says HALT co-sponsor Sen. Alessandra Biaggi (D-34).
"Prolonged segregated confinement can cause permanent harms and does not properly address the root causes that lead to the punishment,” says Sen. Andrea Stewart-Cousins (D-35th District).
Westchester Corrections Union President Neil Pallone says the law will put corrections officers and non-violent inmates at risk. "We need volatile inmates, you know the violent inmate, to be segregated when they do commit these crimes inside jail. Women and men of my union and inside uniformed staff need to be protected from them. Besides that, we also need to protect the nonviolent inmate that's just trying to do their time and go back to society," says Pellone.