The following is an excerpt from MyCentralJersey.com originally published on December 11, 2016
To the thousands in New Jersey who are sitting in solitary confinement today, and for the tens of thousands who have sat there for months and even years in the past, I write to apologize to you for the behavior of our governor.
Not only did he veto important legislation last week, but he did so without an ounce of recognition or concern for your suffering.
Accompanying his rejection of S51 (the bill to radically reduce solitary confinement) the governor showed that he has not taken seriously any of the research showing the psychological damage that often results from prolonged isolation. He also didn’t take a look at the clear examples of abuse of power that have accompanied the use of solitary as a disciplinary tool by prison guards and others. It was as if he’d not had a new and meaningful thought about New Jersey’s reliance on this antiquated form of torture that many nations, and some states, have altogether abolished. By being totally dismissive, and chalking this bill up to a bumper-sticker press release, the governor suggested that you who have shared your horrifying experiences of solitary really don’t matter.