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Dromm Introduces Bill to End Solitary Confinement in NYC Jails

Council Member Daniel Dromm (Council Member Daniel Dromm)

Dec. 14, 2020 by Allie Griffin

Jackson Heights Council Member Daniel Dromm introduced a bill last week that would end the use of solitary confinement in all New York City jails.

Under the bill, individuals would only be allowed to be isolated for the sole purpose of de-escalating violent conflicts and could only be isolated for no more than four hours.

The legislation would also require the Department of Correction to document all instances of isolation and de-escalation for public viewing.

Dromm’s bill would also guarantee that nearly every person detained in a city jail would get 14 hours of time outside their cell each day.

It also mandates free legal counsel for those placed in solitary confinement.

Dromm said the bill is ultimately about creating humane conditions for all people inside city jails.

“Solitary confinement is not just a violation of the basic human rights of the individual subjected to it,” he said in a statement. “It is a horrific practice whose negative impact reverberates throughout our entire society.”

He said that the practice often turns violent individuals more violent and affects the mental health of correction officers and other staff.

The legislation, Dromm said, is based on research conducted by criminal justice experts; feedback from criminal justice reform activists; and the opinion of many social service providers, medical professionals and others in government.

“History will not be kind to us if we turn back from the clarion call: Solitary confinement must end now…,” Dromm said. “It has no place in our city, no place in our state, and no place in our country.”

If passed, the ban on solitary confinement would go into effect 180 after becoming law.

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12 Comments

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Concerned Citizen

You need to have solitary confinement. Those people made their choice to hurt the innocent. They would not hesitate to stab you given the chance. No sympathy for criminals!!

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Agreed, all criminals would stab you

Locking people in a box is a sure way to make sure they are well adjusted when they get out

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Is this a joke?

wonder if he would feel the same way if he or a family member was the victim? Complete and utter lunacy!

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Beware of those who demand torture

It’s a joke – A family member of mine was a victim of a homicide. Kindly explain to us how a proven inhumane practice advances justice, criminal rehabilitation or society when these people are ultimately released? Studies show the practice exasperates mental disease (estimates put 3/4 of prison population at suffering some degree of mental illness) and makes inmates even more violent. The European Court of Human Rights has three labels for solitary confinement: complete sensory isolation, total social isolation and relative social isolation.
White torture, often referred to as “white room torture,” is a type of psychological torture technique aimed at complete sensory deprivation and isolation. A prisoner is held in a cell that deprives them of all senses and identity. It is particularly used in Iran; however, there is also evidence of its use in the United States, Venezuela, Ireland and other parts of Europe.
Visually, the prisoner is deprived of all colour. Their cell is completely white: the walls, floor and ceiling, as well as their clothes and food. Neon tubes are positioned above the occupant in such a way that no shadows are shown.
Auditory, the cell is soundproof, and void of any sound, voices or social interaction.Guards are stood in silence wearing padded shoes to avoid making any noise.Prisoners cannot hear anything but themselves.
In terms of taste and smell, the prisoner is fed white food—classically, unseasoned rice—to deprive them of these senses. Further, all surfaces are smooth, robbing them of tact.
Detainees are often held for months, or even years.The effects of white torture are well-documented in a number of testimonials.Typically, prisoners will become depersonalized by losing personal identity for extended periods of isolation; causing hallucinations, or even psychotic breaks.

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Read about the creation of Clyde Barrow

Geoff – You obviously haven’t read up on the topic or you would know: 1: Not all criminals are in for violent offenses. 2-Incarceration of mentally ill (American Prison Wardens all claim their prisons have been used as psychiatric wards) start out with simple vagrancy statutes being violated. When you have no where to go and can’t focus long enough to do a job or even fill out paper work, it’s only a matter of time before a schizophrenic breaks a law. 3- Eye for an eye means “nothing more”. The Hebrew Law of retaliation. Look it up. 4-A legal defense is a commodity. You pay a premium for a quality defense. 4- You’re supporting a failed system that creates and turns out upon release ( and yes Geoff the overwhelming majority will be released)even more violent criminals than the ones they took in.

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Geoff

So stupid. Solitary confinement is necessary to keep the majority of prisoners safe!! It’s also an effective deterrent.

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Did you even read up on the topic ?

@Geoff- Are you sure a practice that is known to be overused and even abused by jailers. A practice that is known to destroy a healthy human mind and speed up the degeneration of a sick mind. A practice that make inmates even more hostile angry and violent. This practice makes people safe. Are you sure?

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Mac

Geoff- Did you read the article or just the misleading title? Quote the article. “Under the bill, individuals would only be allowed to be isolated for the sole purpose of de-escalating violent conflicts and could only be isolated for no more than four hours.“

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