New York City will prohibit solitary confinement for inmates under the age of 21, shifting away from its previous policy, the New York Times reported.
In a unanimous decision, the New York City Board of Corrections voted Tuesday to implement the reform in January 2016 once positions for additional officers and medical staff have been created.
The decision comes almost a month after reports of increased self harm among teenage inmates and excessive use of force against adolescents held in solitary confinement at Rikers Island, New York City’s largest jail, led federal prosecutors to take legal action against the city over civil rights violations.
The same week of the lawsuit, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that New York had put an end to the solitary confinement of juvenile inmates.
Last year, the use of solitary confinement gained more attention from legislators than it has in nearly two decades. In 2014 alone, 10 states passed reforms to limit the use of solitary confinement and improve the conditions of punitive segregation units.
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