Featured Case: Challenge to Solitary Confinement in New York

June 27, 2024

Prison cell block with three tiers

On April 5, 2023, three individuals incarcerated in the state of New York filed a putative class-action suit against the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision (DOCCS), alleging that DOCCS was illegally subjecting people to prolonged solitary confinement in violation of the Humane Alternatives to Long-Term Solitary Confinement Act (HALT Act).

After a contentious discovery process, plaintiffs filed a motion requesting the court order DOCCS to submit further information than the initial “insufficient” record for Article 78 proceedings on March 1, 2024, and later, in April 2024, a request for an order directing discovery for the declaratory action portion of the claim. 

On June 20, 2024, in his decision on the plaintiffs’ motions, Judge Kevin R. Bryant found that, due to the lack of information provided by DOCCS indicating otherwise, DOCCS was following a policy in violation of the HALT Act. He ordered DOCCS to comply with the HALT Act by conducting fact-specific inquiries and making specific findings of fact in hearings regarding extended segregated confinement. The pending requests for discovery were dismissed as moot, as the court had granted the relief requested in the complaint.

Read more about the case and find relevant documents here