ALBANY, NY – A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit regarding changes to solitary confinement in New York’s prisons.
NewsChannel 34’s Jamie DeLine tells us about the lawsuit.
In a lawsuit, the New York State Correctional Officers and Police Benevolent Association, also known as NYCOPBA, claimed that changes made to solitary confinement under the HALT Act was in violation of the 14th Amendment, saying it creates a more dangerous work environment.
The HALT Act was passed a year ago and went into effect in April. It restricts the use of solidarity confinement for all incarcerated people for up to 15 days. The Association sued the governor and the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision.
Just recently, a federal court dismissed the case siding with the state.
NYSCOPBA President Michael Powers says it’s unfortanate that the court didn’t agree with it’s arguments stating, “Fifteen says in segregated confinement for assulting and injuring staff puts a target on our backs for those who take advantage of the law.”
In a statement, DOCC’s says the safety of staff and incarcerated people are a top priority and that there’s a zero tolerance policy for violence.
Adding, ” … the Department has seen an uptick in violence to both staff and the incarcerated population. It is our hope that the out-of-cell programming offered in the Residential Rehabilitation units as a result of this law will have a positive effect on the population and lead to safer correctional facilities across the state.”
A Prison Violence Task Force was created at the end of last year to help enhance safety and security in New York Prisions.
NYSCOPBA says regardless of the ruling, it will continue campaigning to repeal the HALT Act or ammend the law.
Reporting in Albany, I’m Jamie DeLine.