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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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Happy

If inmates know they can assault staff and peaceful inmates with no action being taken against them it’s going to be a living hell on Rikers. These are not kids in a daycare, we’re talking about gangs like the Crips,bloods and Latin kings. how would that councilman feel if a blood gang attack him and sent him to the hospital and when he came back the same inmates are in the day room laughing at you while they eat their potato chips and ready to do it again because they don’t have to worry about no repercussion. come on get real.

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Javier

I don’t know, maybe its just me……but I think jail SHOULD be harsh. I mean it’s something I never want to experience BUT it should be hard enough where, you’d definitely be reformed and will do whatever you could to never have to go back.

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Catherine

Some dangerous criminals need to be kept away from staff and other inmates. If the inmates behaved themselves they would not be sent to solitary confinement. Too many individuals have been let out of prison only to repeat the same offense over and over. How frustrating for officers both on the street and in the prisons.

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pink

They likely repeat the same offense over and over again because they are mentally ill. Solitary confinement will only make it worse.

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Sara Ross

It’s amazing (sarcasm) how criminals seem to get more rights than their victims. I think plea deals and low bail should be against the law. Victims didn’t get to plea for their lives and they pay a lot more in their physical, mental and emotional health after being victimized.

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