The state of New York has agreed to limit its use of solitary confinement in prisons. Under an agreement with the New York Civil Liberties Union, the state’s prison system will become the largest in the country to ban solitary confinement as a disciplinary measure for those under 18. The deal also curbs the use of solitary confinement for pregnant and developmentally disabled prisoners. NYCLU Executive Director Donna Lieberman said, “New York State has done the right thing by committing to comprehensive reform of the way it uses extreme isolation, a harmful and inhumane practice that has for years been used as a punishment of first resort in New York’s prisons.”
-Democracy Now!, January 20, 2014
While it is a victory for human rights that New York has agreed to some reforms of its solitary confinement program, the United Nations considers solitary confinement above 15 days for ALL inmates to be a form of torture. Anarchists, prison abolitionists, and activists of all stripes are going to have to keep pushing until we force the state to ban the draconian practice altogether.