Sunday, April 18, 2021

Comptroller Stringer Testimony to Board of Correction: End Solitary Confinement and Redirect Resources to Ensure Health, Safety and Rehabilitation


As New York City spends $447,337 per incarcerated person, rates of violence and use of force continue to rise, even as the jail population has fallen to all-time lows

Board of Correction proposed rules would keep people in City jails in isolation indefinitely

 New York City Comptroller Scott M. Stringer delivered testimony to the Board of Correction on newly proposed rules concerning restrictive housing in correctional facilities. Comptroller Stringer repeated his call to the Board to eliminate the inhumane practice of solitary confinement in all its forms and advance an approach that centers safety, health, and rehabilitation, as envisioned in the NYC Jails Action Coalition and #HALTsolitary Campaign’s blueprint to end punitive segregation.

Comptroller Stringer underscored that the Board’s proposed rules fall short of the HALT Solitary Confinement Act recently passed by the New York State legislature. Comptroller Stringer recommended changes to the new proposed rules, including providing at least 14 hours of out-of-cell time with meaningful congregate programming and human interaction, providing individuals at risk of placement in the Risk Management and Accountability System (RMAS) with legal representation, limiting placement in RMAS, and immediately abolishing restraint desks.

In March, Comptroller Stringer released an analysis that found that New York City spent an average of $447,337 per every incarcerated individual in FY 2020 – a 30 percent increase over the previous year – even as rates of fight and assault infractions in City jails rose by 27 percent. Comptroller Stringer underscored the need to redirect resources to social services, programming, and treatment that can prevent incarceration and help people succeed in their communities after they leave.

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