The New York Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit yesterday taking the state to task for its use of extreme isolation in prisons. Following many of the same claims the NYCLU asserted about the practice in an October report, the lawsuit alleges that corrections officers wield too much power in doling out the punishment, that it disproportionately effects black prisoners, and that it causes physiological and psychological harm.
Though the Corrections Department has not made a statement about the lawsuit, it did respond to “Boxed In,” the NYCLU’s earlier report.d. “If we fail to protect everyone in our facilities, we fail to maintain the task that has been placed in our trust,” said corrections commissioner Brian Fischer, who is named in the suit. “The use of disciplinary segregation is important to the overall well-being of any of our prisons.”
Watch a short film on the practice below.
(Photo: Paul Lowry/Flickr)