ALBANY, NY (WUTR/WFXV/WPNY) – The first anniversary of New York State’s HALT Act has come and gone, and after a year, the numbers look grim, according to NYSCOPBA.
The correctional officers and policeman’s union, in a statement on Friday, April 7, called for a full repeal of the act, implemented on April 1 of last year. The HALT Act – The Humane Alternatives to Long Term Solitary Confinement Act — limits or eliminates the ability of officers to place misbehaving inmates in separate facilities away from the general population. The union also said that since the act was implemented, there has been an almost 40% increase in prison violence.
Under the Act, inmates in New York State can only be placed in separate confinement for a maximum of 15 days, and in some cases – such as inmates 21 or younger or individuals who are pregnant — not at all. The act also creates alternative rehabilitative confinement options and allows for disciplinary committees to find if misconduct by inmates is punishable by solitary confinement.
According to the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Services (DOCCS) since the HALT Act was enacted, 3,113 total assaults in the year since the act was implemented. According to NYSCOPBA, that is more assaults than in any twelve-month period in New York State’s history.
In the twelve months prior, only 2,375 assaults were reported, a jump of almost 33%.