End Solitary Confinement Abuse In New Jersey
TAKE ACTION NOW
In 2016, Governor Christie vetoed a bill to restrict the use of solitary confinement, saying it's "a problem that does not exist."
The nearly 1,500 people currently in solitary in New Jersey would disagree. Solitary confinement has been described as a torture by those who have experienced it and the United Nations has called prolonged solitary just that. It can cause serious and lifelong psychological harm and trauma. Even a few days can cause lasting damage, but it's not uncommon for people to spend years in solitary confinement. This needs to end.
Legislation has been introduced (A314/S3261) that will substantially limit the length of solitary confinement in New Jersey prisons and jails and prevent the most vulnerable from being subjected to the inhumane practice altogether. It will demand that solitary confinement be considered a last resort and used only sparingly, if at all.
Here's what the bill A314/S3261 will do:
- Ban solitary confinement for the most vulnerable populations, including children, people age 65 or older, people with mental illness, people with serious medical conditions, people who are pregnant, and people who identify as LGBTQI.
- Prohibit solitary confinement for more than 15 consecutive days, or 20 days in a 60-day period.
- Require medical clearance and daily evaluations for prisoners in solitary confinement.
- Require that prisons and jails use solitary confinement only as a last resort.
The Legislature passed identical legislation in 2016, but it was vetoed. Now we have another chance to urge lawmakers to pass this enormously important bill so it can be signed into law.
Prolonged solitary confinement is widely recognized as a form of torture. Email your elected officials now and tell them to support A314/S3261.
Your State Upper Chamber Representatives
Your State Lower Chamber Representatives