Layleen Polanco

City jail officials were all set to roll out their new ‘Risk Management and Accountability System’ as an alternative to solitary confinement on Friday, but balked late Thursday afternoon following criticism from a federal monitor and reporting by THE CITY.
The City Council has still not introduced any measure to end solitary confinement in city jails despite a majority of members publicly opposing the practice. The public advocate’s office meanwhile has taken up the mantle and says a bill will be introduced in weeks.
A letter to the mayor-elect signed primarily by incoming Council members marked a preview of the dynamic between a band of rookie, mostly progressive lawmakers and Adams, a former cop whose crime-fighting promises helped get him elected.
“Enjoy the reprieve now!” the incoming mayor declared Thursday as he announced Louis Molina would head the Department of Correction. The family of Layleen Polanco, whose death at Rikers galvanized the anti-solitary movement, slammed Adams.
The sister of Layleen Polanco, whose 2019 jail death galvanized the movement to end isolating inmates, expressed her “disgust” for the mayor. De Blasio’s handpicked leader of the city jail oversight board also condemned his 11th-hour executive order.
The city further limited isolation Tuesday — two years and a day after Layleen Polanco’s death on Rikers Island. But her sister and other inmate advocates are slamming de Blasio for not fully eliminating the practice.
Incarceration reformer Vincent Schiraldi, appointed by de Blasio to run the troubled Correction Department, says he’d consider staying past Dec. 31. He wants to end the violence that’s plagued Rikers Island and other local lockups.
The Board of Correction now says a proposal, spurred by the death of Layleen Polanco at Rikers Island, will be out this month. But the City Council could beat them to it with a law.
But his comments about arresting those “organizing and profiting” from the trade alarmed sex worker rights advocates. The mayor’s words came days after the city settled a suit filed by Polanco’s family.
De Blasio cited the case of Layleen Polanco, whose death in isolation at Rikers Island last year galvanized the movement to stop the practice in New York and beyond.
The de Blasio administration pushed staff punishments Friday but has rejected more systemic changes to solitary confinement in New York City jails.
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Meanwhile, city jailers contend that locking people in isolation for 21 hours a day does not qualify as “solitary confinement.”
Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, speaking at Board of Correction’s first hearing on proposed limits, says NYC can “serve as a model for the nation.”
Isolation of inmates would be limited — but not eliminated — under a long-fought Board of Correction plan that spurred a public battle with City Hall.
The de Blasio administration seeks a delay pending probe into the transgender woman’s death at Rikers Island. Her family is furious.
Dr. Robert Cohen of the Board of Correction alleges delay of a planned vote to limit punitive segregation is part of bid to weaken reforms.
The Board of Correction planned to propose new limits on isolating inmates in city jails Tuesday, but will delay amid mayoral pressure, sources said.
Bryanne Hamill loses her Board of Correction seat amid wrangling over putting limits on isolating inmates in city jails, sources said.
A Board of Correction hearing on Tuesday drew calls to change New York City’s policies on solitary confinement but yielded no action.
The Emergency Release Fund has raised $10,000 and helped free six people so far. Polanco died in solitary on Rikers Island for want of $500 bail.
A growing chorus of critics wants to strictly limit or ban isolation in the wake of Layleen Polanco’s death. But what are the alternatives?