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Councilman Disturbed By Use Of Solitary Confinement At Rikers Island

Rikers Island aerial shot. (CBS Photo)

Rikers Island aerial shot. (CBS Photo)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — After a visit to Rikers Island, City Councilman Danny Dromm (D-25th) has introduced a measure to require the corrections commissioner to post a monthly report on prisoners being held apart from others.

As WCBS 880’s Rich Lamb reported, Dromm said the current situation at the jail facility is disturbing.

“We saw people who are in solitary confinement for 23 hours a day who are mentally ill, who have been for long periods of time; people who are drug-addicted,” Dromm said. “We also visited a solitary confinement unit for people who are adolescents.”

Dromm said solitary confinement should only be used as a last resort.

“It’s something that should only be used in the most extreme circumstances, when nothing else will work, and to protect other inmates from a violent criminal, or to protect that person from themselves, actually,” Dromm said.

Dromm said the public has a right to know how solitary confinement is being used at Rikers. He said he wanted to insure that solitary is not being used to punish prisoners for minor infractions.

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