ALBANY, NY – A new law that restricts solitary confinement in New York State goes into effect on Friday.
While some advocates are happy about this, others worry it will have negative effects.
The HALT Act, passed last year, restricts the use of solidarity confinement for all incarcerated people for up to 15 days.
New York State Correctional officers are trying to keep the new law from taking effect.
“I don’t think an inmate that sexually assaults a female officer or an inmate that stabs an officer in the chest or cuts his face after 15 days is going to be in a position where they are rehabilitated and they can go back into a congregate setting. I think that is wishful thinking at best,” says New York State Correctional Officers and Benevolent Association’s Chris Moreau.
Moreau doesn’t call it solitary confinement.
“what has existed is a secure housing unit. The cells in secure housing units are identical to those in general population. The only difference is the policies in that unit are more restrictive to keep staff and inmates alike safer,” says Moreau.
While NYCOPBA would like the HALT ACT repealed, he says the organization would settle for it to be paused until a violence study is conducted on the New York prison system.
Victor Pate on the other hand, is an advocate for the HALT Act.
“As a person myself who has been held in solitary confinement, I can tell you that this is something that no human being should ever be exposed to or placed in solitary confinement or afflicted with any inhumane treatment,” says Pate.
Pate says he’s been pushing for this legislation for the last 8 years.
“I am so ecstatic and happy that this now happened because the torture and suffering of other human beings can now be stopped,” says Pate.
I reached out to Governor Hochul’s office on this issue and did not get a response