‘Rescind your deadly order’: Activists blast de Blasio for apparent return to solitary confinement in NYC jails

Mayor Invoice de Blasio had vowed to finish solitary confinement on Rikers Island, however critics say the Danger Administration Accountability System he imposed barely made a distinction. Now, activists declare that de Blasio has allowed the Corrections Division to deliver again solitary confinement because the begin of this month.

The condemnation got here swift and ferocious Monday as survivors of solitary confinement and supporting advocates admonished the mayor for discreetly approving an govt order that reauthorized the usage of isolation in town’s jails. 

This newest controversy comes amidst the hellish circumstances at Rikers Island which have left 14 incarcerated people useless this 12 months. The Nov. 8 rally exterior Metropolis Corridor with a coalition of activist organizations together with #HaltSolitary, the Freedom Agenda, and extra took native authorities to job for the seeming lack of compassion.

The calls for are clear to Mayor Invoice de Blasio: “Rescind your death order.” Photograph by Dean Moses

Protesters gathered on Broadway and Murray Avenue argued that the order, issued one week earlier, would allow the Division of Correction to once more padlock prisoners in isolation for an inordinate period of time for any cause they deem match.

“I tell the mayor to rescind this executive order. This order is not a change, the crisis still remains!” Anisah Sabur started, who has spent 61 days in solitary confinement on Rikers Island and is the coordinator for the Coalition for Girls Prisoners. “We need to make sure that this mayor and this administration hear us and know that we are living, breathing human beings and there’s no need to cage us like animals. We make mistakes, but we are not those mistakes and we don’t have to live out those mistakes until our last breath.”

Anisah Sabur spent 61 days in solitary confinement on Rikers Island. Photograph by Dean Moses

With dozens in help, the coalition tried to humanize the incarcerated. Those that have skilled the horrors of residing in solitary recounted the mistreatment confronted on the within, and the morbid methods in which they tried to relieve themselves of what they known as torture, together with making an attempt suicide. This left some onlookers in disbelief and even welling up with tears of empathy.

Attendees couldn’t imagine the struggling skilled by these in solitary confinement. Photograph by Dean Moses

Melania Brown is aware of this ache all too effectively. The sister of Layleen Polanco, who died whereas in solitary confinement on Rikers Island in 2019, Brown has been preventing for a uniformed finish to isolation in the jail system ever since.

Melania Brown calls out mayor for not preserving his promise to finish solitary confinement. Photograph by Dean Moses

“You made a promise to end solitary confinement and you didn’t do it. Let my people go…. Let them all go,” Brown stated in a public message to the mayor. “You can’t take care of them. Now I walk around with my sister wrapped up around my neck in a chain and ashes. I watched my sister go into solitary confinement and I watched her eat her last two meals and come out in a body bag…. And mayor, respectfully, I’m not done with you and I’m not done with Rikers.”

With their calls for on the desk, the group pleaded with the mayor to “Do the right thing” and prohibit solitary confinement as soon as and for all.  The Mayor’s workplace, nevertheless, pushed again on the declare.

Stating that countless isn’t an correct time period, the Mayor’s workplace indicated that the chief order doesn’t influence the 14 hour out-of-cell requirement for folks in normal inhabitants housing, and punitive segregation sentences is maxed at 30 days for practically all infractions, besides for assaulting an officer, which might end result in a 60-day sentence.

Nonetheless, the mayor’s workplace standbys the declare that there will probably be significant reform by the tip of the 12 months.   

“At the beginning of this administration, there were about 600 detainees in punitive segregation. Today, there are 68. This revised timeline, made necessary by staffing shortages, does not change our fundamental mission: ending this practice by the end of this year and forging a safer, more humane justice system,” stated Mitch Schwartz, a consultant for the Mayor’s workplace, in an announcement.  

Activists demand an finish as soon as and for all of solitary confinement. Photograph by Dean Moses
Dozens gathered. Photograph by Dean Moses
The calls for have been clear. Photograph by Dean Moses

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