(DNAINFO) Danielle Tcholakian — Changes to rules governing when jail inmates can hug loved ones during visits and how long they can be kept in solitary confinement are up for public review ahead of a hearing scheduled for Oct. 16.
The changes were prompted by a request Department of Correction Commissioner Joseph Ponte made earlier this year. Ponte argued that visits needed to be limited in response to an increase in stabbings and slashings, believed to be a result of contraband weapons and drugs being smuggled into city jails.
He also said DOC ought to have flexibility to be able to hold inmates in solitary confinement longer than the restrictions allow. The United Nations has said that holding inmates in solitary confinement for longer than 15 days constitutes torture.