WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
- New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez spoke out on Wednesday against Paul Manafort’s reported transfer to solitary confinement at Rikers Island jail.
- Ocasio-Cortez condemned solitary confinement and referred to it as ‘torture.’
- The congresswoman declared that criminal justice reform should ‘apply principles evenly, no matter the person.’
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez spoke out on Wednesday to the defense of President Trump’s former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, and argued his transfer to solitary confinement at Rikers Island jail.
The New York Democrat declared on Twitter: “Paul Manafort is being sent to solitary confinement in my district – Rikers Island. A prison sentence is not a license for gov torture and human rights violations. That‘s what solitary confinement is. Manafort should be released, along with all people being held in solitary.”
Manafort was convicted last August of tax and bank fraud. He is currently serving an imprisonment sentence of seven and a half years at the federal prison in Pennsylvania. But according to a report from the New York Times, he may be transferred to Rikers.
Several users pointed out the difference between solitary confinement and protective custody. They noted that the newspaper stated he would be held in “isolation.”
The congresswoman responded on Twitter: “Yes – released from solitary. NYT used the term solitary confinement, & that’s what I am commenting on. ‘Protective custody’ IS a separate practice, but does not necessarily exclude solitary.”
She went on: “If he is in fact not being held in solitary, great. Release everyone else from it too.”
High-profile inmates like Manafort are usually placed in protective custody to separate them from the jail’s historically violent general population.
But solitary confinement is indeed different from the protective custody that will reportedly be granted to Manafort.
According to the report, Manafort would either stay in a prison hospital or join the politicians, celebrities, and cop-killers in a newer area of tent-like structures known as “Sprungs.”
In the said infirmary block, inmates are not locked in cells during the day.
Solitary confinement typically involves locking an inmate in a cell for 22 to 24 hours a day.
Ocasio-Cortez is known to be against Trump’s plan to pardon Manafort, but she declared that criminal justice reform should “apply principles evenly, no matter the person.”
The congresswoman has previously spoken out against solitary confinement and referred to it as “torture.” She declared, “People acting as though this is summer camp. It’s Rikers, widely known for abuse. #AbolishSolitary.”
Manafort was indicted in March by Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance on state mortgage fraud charges to ensure prison time amid the possibility of Trump’s pardon.
His arraignment in the Manhattan Supreme Court is scheduled later this month.
Source: New York Post