For Immediate Release
December 20, 2023
Rachel Noerdlinger, firstname.lastname@example.org
Emma Brodsky, email@example.com
FPWA CEO, Former Board of Correction Chair Jennifer Jones Austin Commends City Council’s Ban of Solitary Confinement
New York, NY (December 20, 2023) — In response to the approval of a bill by the New York City Council, making New York the largest American city to prohibit solitary confinement in city jails, Jennifer Jones Austin, CEO and Executive Director of FPWA and former Chair of the Board of Correction, issued the following statement today:
“I commend the New York City Council for taking decisive action to ban solitary confinement in our city’s jails. Also known as punitive segregation, this practice has been repeatedly shown to be inhumane, causing enduring trauma that often lasts a lifetime. Extensive research and studies have illuminated the far-reaching negative impacts of solitary confinement on incarcerated individuals, corrections staff, families, and communities. Banning solitary confinement once and for all is essential for fostering a safer and more humane jail system for both individuals in custody and staff,” said Jennifer Jones Austin.
During Jones Austin’s tenure as Chair of the New York City Board of Correction, a nine-person, non-judicial oversight board responsible for regulating, monitoring, and inspecting the city’s correctional facilities, she led the board in the formulation and adoption of rules to end solitary confinement and replace it with a new alternative disciplinary model. The alternative model is the product of an extensive public engagement process that included discussions and feedback from people with lived experience, families, staff, advocates, researchers, practitioners, and other local and national experts.
FPWA is a leading, anti-poverty policy and advocacy organization dedicated to strengthening human services organizations and faith institutions, and advancing economic opportunity and justice for New Yorkers with low incomes. Since 1922, FPWA has driven groundbreaking policy reforms to better serve those in need. We work to dismantle the systemic barriers that impede economic security and well-being, and strengthen the capacity of human services agencies and faith organizations so New Yorkers with lower incomes can thrive and live with dignity.