NYCLU to Host Meeting on Solitary Confinement in New York State

by | January 18, 2012

Tomorrow, the New York Civil Liberties Union will host a meeting of advocates on the issue of solitary confinement in New York State prisons. According to a report by the Correctional Association, New York State has the highest rate of disciplinary segregation in the country, and one of the highest rates of isolated segregation in general. More recent data suggests that these rates may still be growing–despite efforts to exclude inmates with mental illness from the Special Housing Units, and even as the prison population in New York falls.

All are welcome to attend, but advance notice is necessary. Details from the NYCLU’s announcement appear below.

Prolonged Isolation in New York Special Housing Units (SHUs)

The New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU) is a non-profit legal organization that seeks to defend and expand the civil rights and civil liberties of all New Yorkers, including individuals incarcerated in New York’s prisons.

The NYCLU recently launched a project to investigate the New York Department of Corrections and Community Supervision’s (DOCCS) use of Special Housing Units (SHUs). As part of this project, the NYCLU has begun organizing a broad-based coalition, including prisoners’ rights and mental health advocates, family members of the incarcerated, and formerly incarcerated individuals, to coordinate efforts to raise awareness about and advocate for an end to the NY SHUs.

The NYCLU will be holding its next coalition meeting on January 19th at 6 PM. We welcome participation by all those whose lives have been affected by the NY SHUs.

If you would like to attend this meeting or learn more about the coalition, please contact:

Scarlet Kim

125 Broad Street, 19th Floor

New York, NY 10004

(212) 607-3343

Jean Casella and James Ridgeway

James Ridgeway (1936-2021) was the founder and co-director of Solitary Watch. An investigative journalist for over 60 years, he served as Washington Correspondent for the Village Voice and Mother Jones, reporting domestically on subjects ranging from electoral politics to corporate malfeasance to the rise of the racist far-right, and abroad from Central America, Northern Ireland, Eastern Europe, Haiti, and the former Yugoslavia. Earlier, he wrote for The New Republic and Ramparts, and his work appeared in dozens of other publications. He was the co-director of two films and author of 20 books, including a forthcoming posthumous edition of his groundbreaking 1991 work on the far right, Blood in the Face. Jean Casella is the director of Solitary Watch. She has also published work in The Guardian, The Nation, and Mother Jones, and is co-editor of the book Hell Is a Very Small Place: Voices from Solitary Confinement. She has received a Soros Justice Media Fellowship and an Alicia Patterson Fellowship. She tweets @solitarywatch.

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