ALBANY, N.Y. (WKBW) — New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced Thursday he signed the HALT Solitary Confinement Act into law.
The law reforms the practice of segregated confinement in state correctional facilities.
- A limitation on the amount of time people can spend in segregated confinement or special housing units to 15 days;
- The creation of Residential Rehabilitations Units that will afford incarcerated individuals out-of-cell programming and trauma informed care, to address the underlying actions that resulted in their discipline;
- The establishment of a minimum amount of out-of-cell time, therapeutic programming and/or recreation;
- A restriction on the placement of youth, pregnant women, elderly and individuals with a serious mental illness into segregated confinement; and
- An increase in the training of all staff that work within special housing units on de-escalation techniques, implicit bias, trauma-informed care, and dispute resolution.
"Generations of incarcerated men and women have been subjected to inhumane punishment in segregated confinement with little to no human interaction for extended periods of time and many experience emotional and physical trauma that can last for years," Governor Cuomo said. "By signing the HALT Solitary Confinement Act into law we are reforming New York's criminal justice system by helping ensure the effective implementation of proven, humane corrections policies. I applaud the bill sponsors and look forward to continuing our work to reform the era of mass incarceration and usher in a safer, more just Empire State."