Rochester, NY– In response to the New York State Senate and Assembly passing the HALT Solitary Confinement Act, Jalil Muntaqim, Citizen Action community organizer in Rochester, released the following statement:

“The New York State Legislature has finally moved to end torture by solitary confinement in jails and prisons. This is a historic moment, and comes after years of grassroots advocacy to not only limit the use of solidarity, but ban it completely for vulnerable populations, including pregnant women, people with developmental disabilities and those with histories of mental illness. The HALT Act moves New York closer to a rehabilitative approach to harm reduction and will make our communities safer in the long run. I did 9 months in solitary and recognized how damaging it can be for many others. I witnessed men become mentally distraught. I recognize solitary confinement is damaging to the mind, but also to the spirit. Therefore, the HALT Solitary Act saves lives.”