Bill to discontinue solitary confinement in NYC spurs opposing rallies
Opposing rallies happened outside of City Hall over a new bill to end solitary confinement in New York City jails.
Correction officers say they are against it because solitary is necessary to discipline inmates who become violent.
Officers who claim that they've been assaulted by inmates held pictures of brutally injured officers at the rally opposing the bill, arguing that the punishment is critical for disciplining inmates. One correction officer spoke out about her trauma from being sexually assaulted by an inmate in 2016 while on the job.
"My assailant was given a slap on the wrist and even discharged the very next day," said Keshia Williams. "While I on the other hand have been forced to relive the burden of that trauma every single day for the rest of my life."
While correction officers referenced increases in stabbings and slashings from last fiscal year to now, prison reform activists are calling solitary confinement inhumane and support the bill.
"Solitary confinement is torture," said Victor Pate of HALT-Solitary. "It causes immense suffering and devastating harm and leads to self-harm suicide. It has to end now."
The Criminal Justice Committee is expected to vote on the bill today. It will then go to the City Council for a vote tomorrow.