by Jennifer Mancuso
In 2015, the United Nations General Assembly deemed that solitary confinement beyond 15 days constitutes torture. Yet in New York State, inmates are locked in solitary confinement cells for months, years, sometimes decades. Sometimes they’re locked up for infractions as minor as walking too slowly or having what is perceived as a “bad attitude.” There is currently no limit on the amount of time an inmate can be held in solitary confinement. In the United States, 4.4% of inmates are held in solitary confinement. In New York State, 9% of inmates are held in solitary cells. That is more than double the national average.