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Season 3, Episode 182

Police unions object to solitary confinement limit in New York prisons

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The Nation Magazine contributor Victoria Law joined the America’s Work Force Union Podcast and discussed her recent article, “These Labor Unions Are Fighting to Keep Solitary Confinement,” which explores the objections of correction officers’ unions to new restrictions on solitary confinement in New York state prisons.

Law is also the author of “‘Prisons Make Us Safer’: And 20 Other Myths About Mass Incarceration.

Last year, the New York state legislature passed the Humane Alternatives to Long Term Solitary Confinement, or HALT Act, which caps the amount of time an inmate in New York's prisons or jails can be held in segregated confinement housing to 15 days, or 20 days over a two-month period, she noted.

However, the New York State Correctional Officers and Police Benevolent Association (NYSCOPBA) petitioned a federal court to overturn the law, arguing it removed consequences, and is leading to an increase in violence. A judge dismissed the challenge in June, stating the unions’ claims strained credulity.

Law believes the legislation did not actually lead to an increase in violence. Instead, she argued the unions are pushing against solitary confinement restrictions to avoid job cuts in the face of a dwindling prison population.

Listen to the entire episode to learn more about the issue of solitary confinement in New York state prisons.


America’s Work Force is the only daily labor podcast in the US and has been on the air since 1993, supplying listeners with useful, relevant input into their daily lives through fact-finding features, in-depth interviews, informative news segments and practical consumer reports. America’s Work Force is committed to providing an accessible venue in which America's workers and their families can hear discussion on important, relevant topics such as employment, healthcare, legislative action, labor-management relations, corporate practices, finances, local and national politics, consumer reports and labor issues.

America’s Work Force Union Podcast is brought to you in part by our sponsors: AFL-CIO, American Federation of Government Employees, American Federation of Musicians Local 4, American Alliance for Manufacturing, Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, Columbus/Central Ohio Building and Construction Trades Council, Communication Workers of America, International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators and Allied Workers, International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators and Allied Workers Local 50, International Brotherhood of Teamsters, International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers, International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Crafts, International Union of Painters and Allied Trades District Council 6, Ironworkers Great Lakes District Council, The Labor Citizen newspaper, Laborers International Union of The National Labor Office of Blue Cross and Blue Shield, North America, North Coast Area Labor Federation, Ohio Federation of Teachers, Survey and Ballot Systems, United Labor Agency, United Steelworkers.

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