This post is being updated throughout the day. Please check back later for more updates.
Update 8:07, 1/14/15:
Here is a copy of the final rules approved by the BOC yesterday.
I’ll have more to say on this in the next day or two when I have time to put together a full post, but I would be very cautious of reports and official statements touting Rikers as a new ‘model for reform’ given its proposed restrictions on solitary for juvenile offenders. Not only because there are so many questions that have yet to be answered concerning alternative programming and its funding, but also because of the ways in which mentally and physically ill inmates have been left exposed to Rikers’ new super solitary unit, aka the ESHU, at the discretion of one of the most untrustworthy prison contractors in the nation.
Update 10:26, 1/13/15:
According to Raven, the protection gap for 18-21 year olds will, in fact, be closed — but there’s a hitch:
That means juvenile prisoners may still be subject to isolation for the remainder of this year at least. Solitary confinement for this age group will end in 2016 provided there is “adequate funding” for alternative programs to take its place (although it’s unclear what exactly those programs would look like).
So I guess we’ll have to wait until next year to see if NYC has enough money to stop torturing young prisoners with isolation. Continue reading