NYC rule changes add restrictive Rikers Island housing, some limits to solitary confinement

Rule changes that govern how New York City jails operate will create highly restrictive Rikers Island housing units for dangerous inmates and also amend when and how solitary confinement can be used.

The proposed amendments to inmate minimum standards were made public Friday. The board that oversees the city's department of correction will vote on them at a public meeting Tuesday.

Jail officials have argued that 250 beds of restrictive "enhanced supervision housing" units are necessary to control surging inmate violence at Rikers.

But inmate advocates and others argue the proposed units are unduly restrictive and infringe on inmate rights.

The rule change also would end the use of 23-hour confinement for teenagers and the seriously mentally ill.

The city rules carry the force of law.