13 Jan 13, 2015: BOC votes to Remove all Teenagers from Solitary by January 1, 2016OC votes to Remove all Teenagers from Solitary by January 1, 2016
The Board of Correction voted to remove all teenagers under the age of 21 from Solitary Confinement and its similar cohort units by January 1, 2016. Hon. Brianne Hammill express doubts about the tit-for-tat swap that she was being forced to vote on in order to achieve the removal of teens from solitary. The following language was adopted into the BOC Rules:
“[A]s of January 1, 2016, inmates ages 18 through 21 years old [will be excluded from enhanced supervision] provided that sufficient resources are made available to the Department for necessary staffing and implementation of necessary alternative programming.”
Excerpted from the meeting minutes:
“Judge Hamill further stated that she supports the exclusion from solitary confinement of 16- and 17-year old inmates and 18- to 21-year-olds young adults, as well as those suffering serious mental and physical disabilities and conditions, and those with owed time. She said that while she also supports a new housing cohort for 18- to 21-year-olds with programming, she does not support locking in the ESH inmates 17 hours a day. She remarked that her preference to start the meaningful solitary confinement reform that the Board commenced a year ago feels to her like it was held hostage to the ESH units. Judge Hamill stated that at this time she will take Commissioner Ponte and her colleagues on the Board at their word that they will continue to examine the root causes of the escalating violence, consider DOC’s contributions to the culture of violence, and consider measures to address the culture of violence short of more isolation. She stated that she expects they will carefully monitor and evaluate the effectiveness and necessity of ESH for no more than 250 of the truly most dangerous inmates, as they continue comprehensive segregation reform and rulemaking… The Board voted unanimously to adopt the rule as amended.