Assemblywoman Nily Rozic (D-Fresh Meadows) announced that the legislation she drafted to ban the use of solitary confinement for pregnant women (A9550) has passed the State Assembly with overwhelming bipartisan support.
Inmates in the Special Housing Unit, known as SHU, spend 23 hours a day isolated in a confined room where they often suffer from cases of anxiety and depression. Placement in SHU could also lead to harmful situations such as self-inflicted injury and suicide.
Bill A9550 was introduced in response to an interim settlement agreement reached by the New York Dept. of Corrections and Community Supervision (DOCCS) that would ban the placement of pregnant women in SHU, unless there are extraordinary circumstances. The bill would make the changes under the interim settlement agreement permanent in the event the DOCCS does not reach a final agreement.
“Restricted access to medical and mental health care is detrimental to a pregnant woman in solitary confinement. These women deserve the critical care, exercise and nutrition a healthy pregnancy requires,” Rozic said.
After passing the Assembly, the bill has been delivered to the State Senate where Rozic will continue to push for its successful passage.