Solitary Confinement Will Be Phased Out in New York City

( — New York City Mayor Eric Adams and members of the New York City Council are facing a showdown due to a ban on solitary confinement within New York City jails. Adams opposed the ban on solitary confinement and promised citizens he’d veto the City Council’s decision. The Council’s vote passed 39 to 7 in favor of banning solitary confinement and is an effort by the New York City Council to make city jails more humane for the incarcerated.

The bill also focused on the concept of solitary confinement itself, describing it as torture. At the same time, Adams believes it to be an effective form of punishment for inmates who violate jail policies or commit acts of violence. Members of the United Nations claim that solitary confinement is torture and refer to several studies supporting their position. According to research, inmates in solitary confinement have an increased risk of mental illness and suicide. The research also indicates that minorities are more likely to be put into solitary confinement.

Despite the United Nations’ decision, Adams and New York City jail officials claim that solitary confinement abuse has ended in New York City. According to Adams, who served as a police chief before taking office, jail officers no longer keep individuals in solitary confinement for lengthy periods. Jail officers also claim that out of 6,000 inmates, only 117 were held in isolation throughout 2022. The primary argument against the ban is that solitary confinement helps separate exceptionally violent offenders from other inmates.

Adams also called the bill an “attack” on the public safety of New York City residents. According to Adams, the majority of New Yorkers support the city’s law enforcement and are avidly opposed to banning solitary confinement. Adams also claimed that the ban was the result of a push by the city’s “numerical minority” and that the city’s far-left officials were the only ones advocating for the ban.

Despite Adams’ promise to veto the bill, city officials said they would override his veto and forcefully institute the prohibition of solitary confinement. One of the bill’s key supporters is Yusef Salaam, a Harlem representative wrongfully convicted in the infamous Central Park Five case. Salaam has personal experience with solitary confinement and says his time in isolation was torture.

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