No More Solitary Confinement for People With Mental Disorders in NYC

January 6, 2014 | Andy Cush

Solitary confinement is hell. (Seriously.) So it’s good news that the New York City Department of Corrections will no longer stick inmates with mental illnesses in “the bing” when they break the rules.

In a program that takes effect this year, inmates with conditions like schizophrenia and bipolar disorder will instead be placed in Clinical Alternative to Punitive Segregation, or CAPS, which “is modeled after an inpatient hospital psychiatric ward,” according to the Wall Street Journal. Those with less severe disorders could still end up in solitary through the department’s Restrictive Housing Unit.

Of course, it would be great if NYC prisons started curbing the use of solitary in general–not just for people with mental disorders–but baby steps. For more on the practice, watch the NYCLU’s documentary Boxed In: The True Cost of Extreme Isolation in New York’s Prisons.

(Photo: reivax/Flickr)