Target: Governor Andrew M. Cuomo of New York
Goal: End the usage of solitary confinement in New York prisons
The state of New York’s usage of solitary confinement needs to be stopped. The state’s prison system puts more than 4,000 inmates into solitary confinement every year. Solitary confinement has long been identified as cruel treatment, as the deprivation of human contact and outside stimulation is often used as torture in other parts of the world. This treatment does little to prepare convicts for returning to life outside prison walls but wreaks havoc on their mental state.
The New York Civil Liberties Union claims that the average time spent in solitary confinement for those sentenced to it is five months, while extreme cases may spend years in solitary confinement. Even when individuals are not technically in solitary confinement, they may only get an hour a day outside of their extremely small cells.
The report put out by the New York Civil Liberties Union cited several psychological effects of solitary confinement, such as depression, rage, and anxiety. Yet prisons still claim that solitary confinement is a useful deterrent in preventing violence among inmates. While it is logical to remove threats to safety, putting prisoners in complete solitary confinement rather than just a separate area from the general population is not justifiable.
The psychological effects of solitary confinement and the lack of preparation it gives inmates to face life after incarceration overrides any beneficial claim the state prison system may put forward. Lend your voice and tell the state of New York that inmates are still entitled to human rights and that their incarceration status does not make them less human. Please sign the petition below and stand up for human rights for every individual.
Dear Governor Andrew M. Cuomo,
Solitary confinement cannot continue to be a go-to method for dealing with prison problems. Solitary confinement does less to prevent violence than it does create a psychological nightmare for those placed in it.
Your state alone puts more than 4,000 inmates into solitary confinement. This practice is considered torture in a warfare context, so the fact that it is common practice within the prison system of many states is baffling.
I, along with many others, am asking you to please stop this brutal practice within your state’s prisons. Rather than putting troubled prisoners in complete solitary confinement, please assign them to other sections of the prison away from the general population where they will not be in total solitude.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Philld