Group looking to end solitary confinement holds demonstration in Niagara Square

Buffalo

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB)–New York State leaders are being asked to end solitary confinement in prisons.

Protests including one here in Buffalo sent that message today.

One of those demonstrations took place at Niagara Square, downtown.

Supporters called on state lawmakers to pass what they call the “Halt Solitary Confinement Act.”

They say the punishment is disproportionately used on people of color in new york.

Some of the demonstrators say it’s caused undue harm to their relatives while *they were behind bars.

“Orleans County jail injured my son and hid him in solitary confinement for at least 5 months, and then when they did release him, they released him in a town where I found him wandering in a catatonic state; so I’m trying to bring awareness of solitary confinement to the people who can’t speak for themselves,” Denise Edmond of Halt Solitary Confinement said.

The Orleans County Sheriff says that Edmond’s son was likely held in a state facility, and that in most cases inmates are put in solitary confinement to protect themselves or fellow inmates.

We are a County jail so we typically never hold people more than one year. People receiving a sentence of more than one year will go to a State DOCS facility.

With regard to “Solitary confinement”. This is a term that by its description, nature sounds like a bad thing. Nobody in our jail or I dare say any other Jail in New York State is put in “Solitary Confinement” where there is no human contact or care for the inmate.  

Inmates are placed in “Administrative disciplinary Segregation” or “ a “transfer to another housing unit” for a number of reasons including but not limited to;

·         Separating an inmate to Protecting them from hurting themselves

·         Protecting other inmates from an inmate

·         Protecting an inmate from the population

·         COVID-19 Issues

·         Mental health issues

·         Disciplinary issues such as violating facility rules, committing crimes while in the facility.

** Prior to any disciplinary administrative segregation, a disciplinary hearing will take place.  An inmate is entitled to due process and has the right to present his/her case, present evidence, and call witnesses.

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