Vera Institute of Justice Applauds the State of New York for the H.A.L.T. Solitary Confinement Law

Today we celebrate a historic and long overdue moment in New York's criminal legal system: the passage of the Humane Alternatives to Long-Term Solitary Confinement (H.A.L.T.) Act, which will end the torturous and inhumane practice of solitary confinement as we know it in this state. This law would not have been possible without the tireless decade of advocacy led by formerly incarcerated people and family members of people harmed by solitary confinement.

Vera’s decade of technical assistance and research on solitary confinement across the country has found that time in solitary results in harmful outcomes, including higher rates of mental and physical health problems and incarcerated people who are particularly vulnerable – such as those with mental illnesses – commonly end up in solitary. The H.A.L.T. Solitary Confinement Act limits the use of segregated confinement for all incarcerated people to no more than 15 days, requires jails and prisons to provide alternatives to solitary, eliminates the use of restrictive housing with vulnerable populations, and expands the definition of solitary confinement in the state so that fewer people face isolating and degrading conditions behind bars.

“This momentous step toward ending solitary confinement has been a long time coming, and we applaud those who have been on the ground for years, sounding the alarm on the inhumanity of the practice,” said Jullian Harris-Calvin, director of Vera’s Greater Justice New York program. “This policy will promote the health and safety of all New Yorkers, including those in jails and prisons. We hope HALT Solitary is one of many steps New York will take to protect the health and wellbeing of incarcerated people and that other states follow suit.”

About the Vera Institute of Justice:
Vera is powered by hundreds of advocates, researchers, and community organizers working to transform the criminal legal and immigration systems until they’re fair for all. Founded in 1961 to advocate for alternatives to money bail in New York City, Vera is now a national organization that partners with impacted communities and government leaders for change. We develop just, antiracist solutions so that money doesn’t determine freedom; fewer people are in jails, prisons, and immigration detention; and everyone is treated with dignity. Vera’s headquarters is in Brooklyn, New York, with offices in Washington, DC, New Orleans, and Los Angeles.

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