New York

New York Lawmakers Vote to Let Inmates Use Phone Before Solitary Confinement

Inmates sent to solitary confinement would get to make a phone call first under legislation heading to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo's desk after passing the Democrat-led Legislature.

Under the bill, inmates would also be allowed to make one phone call per week while held in isolation.

The Assembly sponsor, Queens Democrat Nily Rozic, (NEE'-lee ROH'-zihk), says that staying in contact with loved ones can make a "huge difference" in helping to rehabilitate inmates. She says the state should work to strengthen the family ties of inmates, not weaken them.

The bill passed the state Senate on Wednesday after passing the Assembly in February.

Cuomo, a Democrat, hasn't said whether he'll sign the bill.

Lawmakers are also considering legislation that would limit solitary confinement to a maximum of 15 days.

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