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Activists push for end of prison solitary confinements on first day of state legislative session

A bipartisan bill last legislative session was vetoed by Gov. Ned Lamont.

HARTFORD, Conn. — Activists rallied together outside the State Capitol on Wednesday to push for an end to solitary confinement in prisons across the state.

“That’s why we’re here to make sure our voices are heard,” said Barbara Fair, lead organizer of Stop Solitary Connecticut.

A bipartisan bill tackling the issue was passed last legislative session and vetoed by Gov. Ned Lamont.

“Holding people in solitary confinement with no human contact with no movement of anything like that is actual literal torture,” said Claudine Fox, a public policy and advocacy director for the ACLU Connecticut.

RELATED: Push to eliminate solitary confinement in Connecticut

Instead of signing the bill, Lamont instead called for an increase in out-of-cell time for people incarcerated in an executive order.

But Fox says the executive order still falls short of what needs to be done.

“Being able to treat people as people even if they are incarcerated is what we should be doing all across the board,” said Fox.

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With the new legislative session beginning on Wednesday, the organization wanted to make sure their efforts from last year are still being heard loud and clear.

“We feel it’s unfinished business we have to get that so that’s why we’re here,” said Fair, the lead organizer of Stop Solitary CT.

She said she’s been advocating for better prison treatment for decades after her son was put behind bars.

“It’s totally destroyed him a broken emotionally and spiritually. I really didn’t want to see this happened to another mother this journey that I’m on,” said Fair.

RELATED: Lawmakers, advocates call for end to solitary confinement

Activists say they want the legislature to pass and have the governor sign similar legislation like last year.

FOX61 reached out to Lamont’s office but did not hear back.

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