Law Boosts Oversight of Use of Solitary Confinement at Rikers Island

In the aftermath of the fallout over conditions at Rikers Island, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and the City Council enacted new legislation recently that includes requiring the Department of Corrections to provide quarterly reports detailing the number of inmates in solitary confinement, the length of each stay, and whether or not inmates were assaulted or injured during these episodes.

While de Blasio believes the new regulations will be more effective in managing jails and addressing problems that have been plaguing the system, advocates are concerned that the legislation does not contain provisions that would directly curb guard brutality or ban the practice of solitary confinement as punishment.

Is it too little too late?