April 1, 2019: Albany, NY:
On Tuesday, March 26, 2019,
on the New York State Commission of Correction’s
Proposed Inmate Confinement and Deprivation Rules.
Disability Rights New York (DRNY) is pleased that the State Commission of Correction (SCOC) has introduced a rule limiting cell confinement for inmates with disabilities, including serious mental illness.
The proposed rule takes important steps towards limiting and reviewing segregated confinement. The proposed rule is, however, substantially similar to the rules proposed in October 2017 and April 2018, in many respects and we remain concerned that the SCOC has not taken adequate measures to reduce the risk of harm to inmates with disabilities.
We support several changes of the rule as discussed here. The rule
- a) expands the exercise period for segregated inmates with serious mental illness or mental or physical disabilities to two hours (7028.2(d))
- b) requires the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) to review continued segregated confinement on a weekly basis, and issue written determinations of such reviews (7006.7(c));
- c) requires disclosure by the facility medical director of mental or
physical disability or serious mental illness for purpose of segregation
- (d) requires reporting inmate cell confinement to the SCOC
DRNY is the designated independent non-profit Protection & Advocacy System empowered by Congress to investigate allegations of abuse and neglect and provide legal and non-legal advocacy services to people with disabilities in New York State. The Protection & Advocacy System was created by Congress as a direct result of the horrific conditions that were uncovered in the 1970's at New York’s Willowbrook State School.