Today, under Assembly Member O’Donnell’s leadership, the Assembly Correction Committee passed two important bills limiting solitary confinement, one sponsored by Assembly Member O’Donnell and one by Assemblywoman Nily Rozic. O’Donnell’s bill, A9286, bans solitary confinement for youth under 21 years of age, and Rozic’s bill, A9550, bans solitary for pregnant inmates. After the committee meeting, Assembly Member O’Donnell announced:
I am proud to have worked with Assemblywoman Rozic to usher A9286 and A9550 through the Correction Committee. As Chair, I have visited 12 of New York State’s prisons, and at each of them have toured the Special Housing Unit (SHU). Solitary confinement is particularly damaging to vulnerable young and pregnant inmates, who have restricted access to medical care, educational programming, exercise, and other services vital to their development and health while in SHU. Today, New York State is one step closer to protecting these inmates and truly working toward their successful rehabilitation; I look forward to voting for these bills' full passage on the Assembly floor.
Assemblywoman Rozic said:
Placing pregnant women in SHU restricts their access to the proper medical care, exercise and nutrition needed during a pregnancy. We need to ensure that pregnant women do not fall into a system that continually denies them the urgent care they deserve.