Adams' solitary confinement stance sets up fight with City Council

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Mayor Eric Adams has set up his first big policy fight with the new City Council, vowing to reverse a ban on solitary confinement at Rikers Island even as the majority of the Council pushes to end the practice.

Adams maintains that he supports “punitive segregation” and not “solitary confinement.” But the city’s jails board, and the plan passed last year to end the policy, use the two terms interchangeably to describe the practice of locking an inmate in a cell for most of the day as punishment for a violent offense.

“There is no distinction. They’re literally synonymous,” said City Council Member Tiffany Cabán of Queens, who sent a letter to Adams along with 28 other Council Members denouncing his stance on a practice they call “torture.”

“A 29 member majority of the incoming City Council signed it from a variety of political orientations,” she said. “Any other position is adopting a fringe stance.”

Adams says he would like to make changes to punitive segregation, including larger cells and

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