Discover and read the best of Twitter Threads about #HALTsolitary

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Andrew Cuomo has just two more minutes to sign or veto a historic bill against solitary confinement in New York. (My understanding is the bill becomes law if he does nothing.) 👀
Midnight passed. It would appear Cuomo’s office will make no news tonight; this could mean the #HALTsolitary bill is now law without his signature, but it may also be he issued a veto he’ll publicize tmrw.

Bill would get NY in line with not doing what the UN defines as torture.
UPDATE: Cuomo signed the #HALTsolitary bill tonight — & advocates are now celebrating it becoming law.

A caution that signature came with amendments (typically discussed with leg leaders) — & important to see just what those are to understand final shape.
Read 4 tweets

"The isolation, confinement & sensory deprivation of solitary eats away at bodies and minds. Become prone to self-harm including suicide"

#HALTsolitary is on @NYGovCuomo's desk.…
"NY stands poised to overhaul solitary confinement in its prisons & jails, a practice widely recognized as inhumane, arbitrary & counterproductive. Despite piles of research detailing brutal physical & psychological toll of solitary confinement its a common form of discipline."
"NY correctional employees have wide discretion to throw people into “the box,” where people spend 23/hrs a day in a tiny space cut off from most human contact. Signs that someone belongs to a gang can land them in the box. So can “eyeballing” a guard."
Read 7 tweets
🚨RIGHT NOW: NY is on the precipice of historic & sweeping restrictions on solitary confinement. A giant leap toward protecting the human rights of incarcerated people.

The bill is Cuomo’s desk. For days now. Passed by a supermajority. Could sign it at anytime. The time is now.
Last week, the NY Senate passed the Humane Alternatives to Long-Term (HALT) Solitary Confinement Act on the heels of the Assembly passing it. The bill passed with supermajority support (i.e., two-thirds vote) in both houses. Enough to override a veto, if it comes to that.
HALT would end the torture of long-term solitary confinement in state prisons & local jails, & eliminate it altogether for special populations (young people, elderly people, pregnant & post-partum women, & people w/ mental illness or physical disabilities).
Read 6 tweets
Major moment. NY paper endorses ending prolonged solitary. Calls officials out on doing same under different name-“Clearly something is amiss when DOCCS promises to reduce solitary confinement but instead turns out to be isolating more prisoners than ever.”…
“DOCCS will no doubt insist what it calls "keeplock" is different from solitary confinement. Whereas inmates in solitary are locked up in cells for up to 23hrs/day in separate "special housing units” those in keeplock are confined for up to 23hrs/day in cells in gen. population.”
“Where DOCCS made a show of reducing the # of offenses for which prisoners could be isolated by 1/4, it actually has more in isolation, than it did 4 yrs ago. It logged 38,248 instances of isolating prisoners in 2018 compared w/ 37,600 in 2015, an increase of almost 650 cases.”
Read 7 tweets
Glad Manafort got @FoxNews to pay attention to the “barbarism” of Rikers & solitary confinement. While they’re at it, & for consistency’s sake, here are some other people whose lives were devastated by Rikers & solitary they should care about.…
Tyrrell Muhammad. 7 years in solitary. For being late coming from rec area. “Once you get there, you dont see nobody, don’t hear from nobody. When youre vanished, youre left to your own thoughts, own behavior, whatever that was when you went in there, now it becomes exacerbated.”
Alicia Barraza’s son. “Ben could no longer endure the violence, brutality, inhumanity & loneliness. He had experienced & witnessed too many horrible events. While in solitary confinement, he hanged himself. He was 21 years old.”…
Read 8 tweets
As news spreads that Paul Manafort will be transferred to Rikers Island & held in solitary confinement until trial, I am seeing far too many people rejoicing & issuing praise for "Karma." Rikers Island & Solitary Confinement are both tortures *no one* should be subjected to.
When we support pain, punishment, torture, harshness, pre-trial detention, solitary, guilt until proven innocent for one--no matter how much we might despise them or think they "deserve it"--we further entrench an unjust system for all.
Our system of mass punishment, incarceration, criminalization was literally built on anger and fear based on extreme outlier cases and hatred for "the other." Every time someone commits a horrific crime or a particularly disdainful character gets caught, we just repeat history.
Read 10 tweets
Albert Woodfox. This man survived *43 years straight* in 6x9 ft cell. Solitary confinement. “I woke up w/ the same thought: Will this be the day? Will this be the day I lose my sanity & discipline? Will I start screaming & never stop?” Solitary is torture. It must be eradicated.
Try to imagine. A single day in a cell only slightly bigger than average elevator. 22.5 out of 24 hrs/day. When out, small solitary cage. No recreation equipment. No group activity. No programs. No sky. It’s dark. Loud. Smells terrible. Multiply by weeks, months, years, decades.
“Solitary confinement causes extreme suffering, particularly over prolonged periods of months or years. Effects include anxiety, panic, rage, paranoia, hallucinations, and, in some cases, suicide.”
Read 7 tweets
Solitary & other forms of isolated confinement are inhumane, counterproductive, & unsafe. People in isolated confinement in NYS spend 22-24 hrs. a day locked in a cell the size of an elevator—alone or with 1 other person. Legislators should pass #HALTsolitary to end this torture.
People in isolated confinement in New York State may be permitted only 1-2 hours to exercise alone in a cage, they do not receive any meaningful programs or therapy, and often cannot make phone calls.
The sensory deprivation, lack of normal human interaction, and extreme idleness in isolated confinement can lead to intense suffering and severe psychological damage.
Read 20 tweets

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