2019 New Jersey Assembly Bill A314
This law requires that isolated confinement only be used when necessary, that it is not used against vulnerable populations, and that the conditions and way it is conducted does not foster psychological trauma or other similar harm. Members of vulnerable populations, including individuals under 21 and over 65, individuals with disabilities, pregnant people, and LGBTQ individuals, are prohibited from being placed in isolated confinement except in rare, specified circumstances. No person can be placed in isolated confinement for more than 20 consecutive days, or for more than 30 days during any 60-day period.
The law stipulates that while in confinement, people are entitled to certain conditions such as mandatory daily evaluations by clinicians and proper ventilation, lighting, temperature control, cleanliness, and sanitary function. People are also entitled to access to mental and medical care, water, food, recreation, education, social interaction, and other basic necessity.
The bill also states that people cannot be directly released from isolated confinement in a state facility to the community during the final 180 days of their incarceration—and in jails, during the final 30 days of incarceration—unless it is necessary for safety reasons. The law takes effect on August 1, 2020.
Keywords: mental health, pregnancy, young adults, elderly, aging, developmental disability, DD, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, gender, sex, length of stay, conditions, direct release, jails.