ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The HALT Act restricts the use of solidarity confinement for all incarcerated people for up to 15 days. Passed last year, it’s set to go into effect on Friday, April 1. The union representing correctional officers in New York does not want it to happen.
“I don’t think an inmate that sexually assaults a female officer or an inmate that stabs an officer in the chest or cuts his face after 15 days is going to be in a position where they are rehabilitated and they can go back into a congregate setting” stated Chris Moreau. “I think that is wishful thinking at best.”
Chris Moreau is the Vice President of the New York State Correctional Officers and Benevolent Association in the Mid-Hudson region. He doesn’t call it “solitary confinement.”
“What has existed is a secure housing unit,” Moreau said. “The cells in secure housing units are identical to those in general population. The only difference is the policies in that unit are more restrictive to keep staff and inmates alike safer.”
While NYSCOPBA would like the HALT Act repealed, the organization would settle for it to be paused until a violence study is conducted on the New York prison system. Meanwhile, Victor Pate is an advocate who’s in favor of the HALT Act.
“As a person myself who has been held in solitary confinement, I can tell you that this is something that no human being should ever be exposed to or placed in solitary confinement or afflicted with any inhumane treatment,” Pate said.
Pate said he has been pushing for this legislation for the last eight years. “I am so ecstatic and happy,” he said. “The torture and suffering of other human beings can now be stopped.”
Gov. Kathy Hochul’s Office did not respond to NEWS10’s request for comment.