In January of 2015, the New York City Board of Correction amended its Minimum Standards to include provisions limiting the use of punitive segregation. Since these amendments took effect, the punitive segregation population in city jails has plummeted. For example, on December 31, 2014, the number of people in punitive segregation was 414, as compared to the same day in 2015, when the population was 181 — a 56% decline.
Amendments to the Minimum Standards and subsequent variances do allow the Department operational flexibility in circumstances presenting exceptional safety and security concerns: overrides to place an individual in punitive segregation for a period exceeding 60 days in six months; waivers of the requirement that an individual be released from punitive segregation after they have been held for 30 consecutive days; and a punitive segregation sentence of up to 60 days for a single infraction if someone assaults a staff member resulting in serious injuries. All exceptions must be approved by the Chief of Department.
These reports are the Board's findings concerning the impact of the amendments on the use of punitive segregation in the City's jails and an analysis of the overrides and 7-day waivers approved by the Chief.