Advocates call for 15-day maximum in solitary confinement

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ALBANY, NY - There is a group calling for Governor Cuomo to go to prison... Not for any crime he committed, but to see just what those who are put in solitary confinement have to go through.

The lobby of the Legislative Office Building turned into a one cell prison today, to call for the passage of the Humane Alternatives to Long Term (HALT) Solitary Confinement Act.

Supporters of the bill say this will reform the current system, where thousands remain in solitary in New York’s prisons 22 to even 24 hours a day with no real human contact.

Reform advocates say this leads to profound psychological and physical damage. they want a 15-day limit on solitary, and create humane alternatives.

They also want Governor Cuomo to spend 24 hours in solitary in one of the state’s prisons, so he can see for himself what it’s like.

“I was put in solitary confinement for 28 days - you have very little property in your cell, you don’t know what time it is. Anytime you leave the cell, you’re in handcuffs,” said Jeffrey Deskovic, who says he was wrongfully imprisoned for 16 years.

Supporters say they have data that shows more than 30% of all prison suicides in New York take place in solitary. Reforms have taken place already in Colorado, where there is a 15 day limit for solitary confinement.

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