Commend New York On Prison Reform


Target: U.S. District Judge Shira Sheindlin

Goal: Show support for new prison reform agreement in New York State

New York State recently barred the use of solitary confinement on inmates under 18.  The encompassing set of reforms also prohibits the use of solitary confinement on pregnant inmates, limits its use on disabled inmates, and stipulates more hours of outdoor time for 16- and 17-year-olds. This kind of regulation is long overdue, and should be standard across the U.S.

Solitary confinement has been found by researchers to have a major negative impact on the mental health of inmates, and it achieves the opposite of its intended outcome. Prisoners come out of solitary confinement feeling further alienated from other people and society at large, are often times more violent, and show signs of severe depression or emotional instability. The fact that this punishment is used against anyone is tragic, but to use it on children and pregnant women is simply horrifying.

Against all reason and logic, convicts in most parts of the country face inhumane exploitation by a draconian legal system, with little or no recourse. The New York Department of Corrections and Community Supervision has taken a much needed step in the right direction with this new agreement, and will hopefully help to set a wider trend towards a healthier society. Sign the petition to show support for this agreement.


Dear Judge Sheindlin,

The new prison reform agreement you signed with the New York Department of Corrections and Community Supervision (DOCCS) will be an enormous help for those who are needlessly suffering. The ban on solitary confinement for inmates under 18 and pregnant inmates is a much needed step in the right direction. Solitary confinement is disastrous for mental health, and to use it against children and pregnant women is truly horrifying.

Regulations like these should be standard across the nation, and a lot of further action is needed. Solitary confinement produces nothing but ill-will and aggression in our society, and the research shows it shouldn’t be a solution to any problem. This is not to mention a multitude of other deep flaws in our prison system that simply perpetuate violence, exploitation, and criminality. We thank you for signing this agreement, and for working to protect the rights and health of our citizens.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: itjournalist via Flickr

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79 Signatures

  • Amy Wilson
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