NYC Doubles Down on Solitary Confinement with Latest Rikers “Reforms”


Prison Protest

The AP reports that the NYC Board of Correction (BOC) will vote this coming Tuesday on changes to solitary confinement on Rikers Island, including a new Enhanced Supervision Housing Unit (ESHU) for the prison’s “most dangerous” inmates and policies that seek to limit punitive segregation for other inmates, particularly the mentally ill and juveniles aged 16-21.

The proposed BOC rules also include:

  • Ending isolation for ‘owed time
  • Ending isolation for ‘minor offenses’
  • Exempting ‘seriously mentally ill’
  • Exempting juveniles aged 16-17
  • Capping solitary confinement at 30 days
  • Additional training for ESHU guards

The announcement of a $14.8 million ESHU is the latest piece of Mayor de Blasio’s Rikers Island reform package, and it is complicated by the fact that we don’t know what the programming or therapy regimen for its prisoners will look like. Such proposals are supposed to come out later this year. However, a former head of the Dept. of Mental Health & Hygeine voiced his…

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