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The Bronx Defenders Our Projects - Solitary Confinement Project

Skylar Albertson spoke before NYC Board of Correction on solitary confinement concerns

On November 18th, Skylar Albertson spoke at a NYC Board of Correction (BOC) meeting concerning the use of solitary confinement and the Department of Correction’s (DOC) proposal to create Enhanced Supervision Housing (ESH) units at Rikers Island. The BOC, an independent oversight agency responsible for setting guidelines for the DOC, has been engaged in a…

Le Nouvel Observateur: Dans L’enfer de Rikers Island

“Several were younger than me, I can’t imagine myself in their places. These youths are completely dehumanized, they are called ‘bing monsters.’ It’s terrible to see that it is considered normal to brutalize youths this young.” – Skylar Albertson, Assistant to the Director, The Bronx Defenders “We have paid bail for 140 people, who were…

Dave Casellas testifies about solitary confinement at NYC Council Hearing

Written Comments of The Bronx Defenders New York City Council Joint Meeting of the Committee on Fire and Criminal Justice Services and the Committee on Juvenile Justice Good afternoon. My name is Dave Casellas, and I work as a client coordinator at The Bronx Defenders. In this role, I help Bronx Defenders clients and their families…

The New Yorker: Getting Teen-agers out of Solitary at Rikers

In this week’s New Yorker, I wrote about a sixteen-year-old boy from the Bronx named Kalief Browder, who was accused of robbery and confined on Rikers Island. He stayed there for three years, waiting for a trial that never happened. For the majority of that time, he was in solitary confinement, locked in a cell…

Los Angeles Times: Op-Ed: Cruel and usual punishment in jails and prisons

The 8th Amendment bans cruel and unusual punishment. Yet it happens every day in prisons across the country. Putting aside capital punishment, which I would argue is cruel and unusual on its face, Americans are ignoring a host of horrific conditions that inmates are subjected to. This is not only morally and constitutionally dangerous; it…

Solitary Watch: Seven Days in Solitary

The following roundup features noteworthy news, reports and opinions on solitary confinement from the past week that have not been covered in other Solitary Watch posts. The American Civil Liberties Union released 26 reports alleging extensive abuses in Arizona’s prisons, including claims that individuals are being placed in solitary confinement because prison beds elsewhere are…

Village Voice: Solitary Confinement at Rikers Island is Torture and “Inexcusably Extreme,” Bronx Defenders Say

Inmates are placed in solitary confinement at Rikers Island for “inexcusably extreme” amounts of time, a new report charges, “egregiously disproportionate” to the infractions they are alleged to have committed. While in solitary, it can be difficult for inmates to get access to the most basic of services, including food, showers, and phone time. That’s…

WNYC: In Solitary, Inmates Languish, Despair and Attempt Suicide: Report

The Otis Bantum Correctional Center has the largest solitary confinement unit on Rikers Island. It holds roughly 400 inmates, according to the Board of Correction. The Otis Bantum Correctional Center has the largest solitary confinement unit on Rikers Island. It holds roughly 400 inmates, according to the Board of Correction. (Brigid Bergin/WNYC) A new report…

The Bronx Defenders releases its report “Voices From the Box: Solitary Confinement at Rikers Island”

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE September 12, 2014 Contact: Skylar Albertson, The Bronx Defenders, (347) 842-1215, SkylarA@bronxdefenders.org Voices From the Box: Solitary Confinement at Rikers Island New York – The Bronx Defenders released a report summarizing the experiences of 59 current and former clients who were subjected to extreme isolation in solitary confinement at Rikers Island. The…

El Diario: Exigen que se termine el maltrato de reos en las cárceles de NY

Activistas y concejales municipales exigieron a viva voz reformas en las prisiones de la ciudad. El grupo se congregó el lunes en las escalinatas de la alcaldía en donde, de paso, se entregaron más detalles de un proyecto de ley que quiere que los Departamentos de Correccionales y de Salud publiquen información detallada sobre los…

The New York Times: Ill and in Solitary at Rikers

Read The Bronx Defenders’ Skylar Albertson’s “Letter to Editor” published in The New York Times in response to their recent article on mental illness among inmates at Rikers Island: To the Editor: “Where Mental Illness Meets Brutality in Jail” (front page, July 14) paints a horrifying but accurate picture of the abuse that mentally ill…

The Bronx Defenders’ Skylar Albertson Delivers Testimony at Solitary Confinement Hearing

On Thursday, June 12th, 2014, The Bronx Defenders’ Skylar Albertson delivered testimony at the Joint Meeting of the Committee on Fire and Criminal Justice Services and the Committee on Mental Health, Development Disability, Alcoholism, Substance Abuse, and Disability Services Solitary Confinement Hearing. Since January, Albertson and Social Work Intern Leah Baez have conducted 23 interviews with…