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Unmasking New York State’s Chamber of Living Death
January 23, 2018 @ 11:00 am - 12:30 pm
Come see a newly-built replica solitary confinement cell, the 23-hour-a-day home of 4,000 New Yorkers, get the feeling of isolation, and learn about this abuse of human rights and how we can stop it. Opening Program will be followed by the exhibit’s being open to the public to experience. At the Rafi Greene Center (1423 Fillmore Ave., Buffalo), the Buffalo/WNY group of the Campaign for Alternatives to Isolated Confinement will unveil a just-completed replica of a solitary confinement cell. The cell will give a sense of the conditions inflicted by New York State and its counties on thousands of persons – conditions citizens in the community never get to see.
Solitary or isolated confinement means 23 hours a day in a bleak 6×9 cell, with the other hour also alone, in an area of similar size but open to the sky. There is no programming, no rehabilitation or therapy, no access to worship services, no meaningful human contact. Over time, solitary destroys one’s mind and soul, and by international definitions more than 15 days (or more than a few hours, for youth and other vulnerable persons) constitutes torture. Yet in New York, people routinely spend months, often years, sometimes decades under such conditions. Even youth, people with intellectual or physical disabilities, or struggling with mental illness, are subjected to solitary. This treatment is inflicted disproportionately on people of color. And in the great majority of cases, it is used, not as protection against persons who are violent behind bars, but to punish non-violent, often trivial infractions of prison rules.
The Campaign for Alternatives to Isolated Confinement works to educate New Yorkers about the issue, and to promote remedies through administrative action and legislation. It supports the Humane Alternatives to Long-Term (HALT) Solitary Confinement Bill (Axxxx/Syyyy) at the state level and corresponding legislation for Erie County.
Speakers [list in formation, need confirmation]
Crystal Peoples • Fr. Harry Grace, representing Bishop William Franklin •
Sponsored by [list below needs confirmations and additions]
New York Campaign for Alternatives to Isolated Confinement • Community Action Organization of Buffalo • Episcopal Diocese of Western New York • Peaceprints • M.A.N. Project • WNY Peace Center
For more information, contact Rebekah Kimble, [email protected]