NEWARK, N.J.—U.S. Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ), a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, applauded legislation that Governor Phil Murphy (D-NJ) signed into law in New Jersey today that limits solitary confinement and bans the practice for vulnerable populations in state prisons.
“Today’s signing of the Isolated Confinement Restriction Act into law is a historic step towards restoring human dignity for detained New Jerseyans,” Booker said. “Solitary confinement is torture. It is an archaic, damaging, and inefficient practice that has been proven to have irreversible effects. Yet, thousands of Americans are held in isolation daily. As a nation founded on the principle of liberty and justice for all, this practice is wholly unjust and leaves the incarcerated worse off. It is my sincere hope that lawmakers around the country follow New Jersey’s leadership to ensure their corrections systems are more humane and use proven methods to rehabilitate incarcerated individuals.”
Booker was instrumental in effectively eliminating the use of juvenile solitary confinement in federal prisons during final negotiations of the First Step Act, which was signed into law in December 2018. The provision was based upon two bills to end juvenile confinement (the MERCY Act and the REDEEM Act) that Booker has introduced since 2015. This Congress, Booker co-sponsored the Solitary Confinement Reform Act, introduced by Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Chris Coons (D-DE), which would limit the use of solitary confinement in federal prisons.