October Events - Month of Action to End Isolation in New York
Each year, the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision (DOCCS) sentences thousands upon thousands of prisoners to spend months, and even years, in Special Housing Units (SHU), where they are subject to extreme forms of isolation and deprivation. This October, join with other people of faith and advocacy organizations to end isolation through the following events:
Tuesday, Oct. 2:
NYCLU releases "Boxed In: The True Cost of Extreme Isolation in New York's Prisons"
Visit http://www.nyclu.org/BoxedIn on Oct. 2 for more details, including the report, exclusive multimedia content, and an expansive library of NY SHU data and other documents obtained through open records laws.
Wednesday, Oct. 3: 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.
Out of the Box: Advocates Share their Experiences with Extreme Isolation in New York's Prisons
The Culture Project, 45 Bleeker St. at Lafayette in Manhattan
Thursday, Oct. 4: 6:30 to 8 p.m.
The View from Albany: Members of the State Legislature
Join Advocates for a Frank Discussion about Extreme Isolation in New York's Prisons
Adam Clayton Powell Building, 163 W. 125 St. at 7th Avenue in Manhattan, 8th Floor, Conference Room B
Please use this flyer to publicize this event in your community or congregation.
*Note: You will need to show ID to gain access to the building and need to give advanced notice if you will be bringing a camera
Tuesday, Oct. 9: 8 p.m.
NYCLU Night with The Culture Project: "The Exonerated" with a Post-Show Talk Back on Extreme Isolation with the NYCLU and CCR
Featuring Stockard Channing, Brian Dennehy, Steve Earle, John Fort , K'naan, Delroy Lindo, Lyle Lovett, Brooke Shields and others in a rotating cast The Culture Project, 45 Bleeker St. at Lafayette in Manhattan
Tickets: NYCLU friends can enjoy a discounted ticket of $49.50 by visiting http://bit.ly/Rx8I1n and entering the code "NYCLU4CP"
Wednesday, October 17: 6:30 p.m.
Metro New York Religious Campaign Against Torture presents Solitary Confinement: New York's Hidden Problem
There will be a lively discussion, organized response & refreshments. The panel will include David Stoelting, Sr. Marion DeFeis, “J”, a representative from NYCLU, and Dr. Jill Schaeffer.
All Souls Unitarian Church, 1157 Lexington Avenue (near 80th St.) in Manhattan. Event is free, but donations accepted to offset costs.
Week of October 22nd
TBD – Delivery of NRCAT’s petition to End Prolonged Solitary Confinement – help us reach our goal of 1000 endorsements by signing here or collecting signatures from your congregation using these tools: www.nrcat.org/solitary.
The Backstory and Current State Campaign Information
The Governor of New York signed bill A09342 into law in 2008. The law requires that the Department of Corrections remove prisoners with serious mental illness from solitary confinement whenever possible and establishes mental health treatment units for the care of such prisoners. The Department must provide documentation when a prisoner with serious mental illness is kept in solitary confinement, explaining the security or other concerns preventing the release of such prisoners from solitary confinement. Additionally, such prisoners must be treated with a heightened standard of care and be periodically reassessed to determine whether a less restrictive setting may be appropriate. Recognizing that there is still much work to be done since the legislative victory in 2008, many New York advocacy groups, including faith organizations, have formed a coalition to explore proposing legislation that encompasses further limits on the use of solitary confinement in New York. If you would like to participate directly in the coalition, email Heather Rice at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn how to sign up.
Links to news stories covering the use of solitary confinement in New York and developments in reforming the practice are available here.