The Episcopal Peace Fellowship will sponsor an offering of letters today, during fellowship after services, in support of a bill in the New York State legislature that limits the use of solitary confinement in NYS prisons.
The bill, HALT, Humane Alternatives to Long-Term Solitary Confinement Act, puts an end to subjecting NYS prison inmates to months, years and even decades of solitary confinement. This act limits isolated confinement to fifteen days in a sixty day period and requires treatment and programs which address the underlying causes of behavioral problems. The act also eliminates the placement in solitary of pregnant women, inmates younger than 21 or older than 55, persons with physical, mental, or medical disabilities, persons who are or perceived to be LGBT. This approach will likely save NYS taxpayers money but more importantly, will increase public safety by treating inmates with constructive solutions rather than increasing their anger, mental illness, and anti-social behavior.
Letters for your signature will be available in the fellowship hall after services today. Please take a moment to express support for humane treatment in our state prisons.