This week Senator Alessandra Biaggi and the Senate passed landmark legislation, which will drastically impact solitary confinement for people in prison.
Titled the Humane Alternatives to Long-Term Solitary Confinement Act (HALT, it will limit the use of segregated confinement for all incarcerated persons to 15 days, implements alternative rehabilitative measures, including the creation of Residential Rehabilitation Units (RRU), expands the definition of segregated confinement and eliminates the use of segregated confinement for vulnerable incarcerated populations.
Additionally, this bill establishes guidelines for humane conditions in segregated confinement, outlines reporting requirements, and adds due process protections by prohibiting placement in segregated confinement prior to a disciplinary hearing and allowing access to counsel. The Nelson Mandela Rules adopted by the United Nations, define segregated confinement for more than 15 days as torture. HALT will bring New York in compliance with this international standard and save the State tens of millions of dollars over the next several years.