New York Ordered to Vaccinate Incarcerated People; Will Gov. Sign Bill Curbing Solitary Confinement?

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A New York judge has ordered the state to provide COVID-19 vaccines to all incarcerated people, saying that officials “irrationally distinguished between incarcerated people and people living in every other type of adult congregate facility, at great risk to incarcerated people’s lives during this pandemic.” Soffiyah Elijah, executive director of the Alliance of Families for Justice, says advocates have been pushing the state “since the beginning of the pandemic to prioritize the health and safety of incarcerated people,” but those efforts were met with silence. “It’s unfortunate that it took court intervention in order to make the state do what it’s supposed to do,” says Elijah. She also addresses calls for New York Governor Andrew Cuomo to sign a bill passed by lawmakers called the Humane Alternatives to Long-Term (HALT) Solitary Confinement Act, that would end the excessive use of solitary confinement.

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