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Coming up on Connections: Tuesday, October 29

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First hour: Candidates for State Supreme Court Justice

Second hour: Former inmates discuss the impact of solitary confinement

We continue our series of conversations with candidates for elected office prior to Election Day. This hour, we sit down with candidates for State Supreme Court Justice. Three candidates are vying for two seats. We talk with the candidates about their platforms, priorities, and work on the bench. In studio:

  • Meredith Vacca
  • Kevin Nasca

*Note: The third candidate, Matthew Rosenbaum, was invited to join this conversation, but declined.
Then in our second hour, we hear from two men who spent years in solitary confinement. Jerome Wright and Curtis Griffin are now activists pushing for reform in the criminal justice system – specifically, for the passage of the HALT Act, which would limit solitary confinement to 15 consecutive days. A new report from the NYCLU shows that while the number of special housing unit solitary sanctions dropped by nearly 20 percent from 2015 to 2018, the number of so-called Keeplock sanctions increased. Those types of sanctions are less restrictive than the former, but Keeplock sanctions can confine prisoners for up to 23 hours a day. We discuss the different types of confinement, the impact they have on prisoners’ physical and mental health, and why defenders of the practice say it can protect inmates and staff from dangerous people who are also incarcerated. In studio:

  • Jerome Wright, activist and solitary confinement survivor
  • Curtis Griffin, activist and solitary confinement survivor
Evan Dawson is the host of "Connections with Evan Dawson." He joined WXXI in January 2014 after working at 13WHAM-TV, where he served as morning news anchor. He was hired as a reporter for 13WHAM-TV in 2003 before being promoted to anchor in 2007.
Megan Mack is the executive producer of "Connections with Evan Dawson" and live/televised engagement programming.