New York community activists are rallying today in support of the passage of the HALT solitary bill. They will be outside the Governor’s mansion and across the state, in Buffalo, Long Island, Ithaca, Rochester, and beyond. Here in Broome County we join this effort and ask the legislature to reconvene, pass the HALT bill, and end solitary confinement in our prisons and jails.
Solitary has long been unaccountably and extensively used in the Broome County jail, with ill persons now additionally spending weeks in severe isolation, locked in for 23 hours a day, stripped of the most basic telephone contact with the outside world.
In need not be so. Solitary confinement is torture. It has long been demonstrated to cause devastating physical, psychological, and emotional harm. Solitary is most often inflicted on the vulnerable: poor, Black, Latinx, LGBTQ prisoners, and those with disabilities and mental health problems. It is also counterproductive, leading to more, not less, violence and illness in jails and prisons.
Today Broome County community organizations join this statewide effort. We will be holding a car rally outside the daily county press briefing at the NY Taste Center on Front Street.
A press conference be held at 2:30pm on location.
Further information on HALT is available from the Coalition against Isolated Confinement http://nycaic.org/