NYC Adopts Common Torture Technique To Be Applied To Homeless Youth

stick figure sleeping with a red x across the image
"No Sleep" photo by j4p4n is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

It’s truly astounding the cruelty that groups of self-important, out of touch bureaucrats and/or politicians can inflict on their fellow humans:

“Homeless youth are nothing but a nuisance. Let’s torture them with sleep deprivation until they move on!”

That’s the meat of a surprise New York City directive to youth drop-in centres. Visitors may stay overnight, but they are not permitted to sleep.

Of course, leaving aside common torture techniques, other governments have in the past adopted similar methods that may be of interest to New York City. Once you have banned sleeping, it can be turned into a profit centre. So many dollars to sit on a bench overnight (no sleeping), extra to sit on a bench and be allowed to sleep. For youth flush with money, there can be an array of ‘coffins’ with or without mattresses.

In case you think affordable housing action is just being silly about this, this kind of profit-making was legal in late eighteenth-century England, including calling the cot for sleeping a ‘coffin’1. Read more at THE City: Young and Restless: City Drop-In Centers Told to Keep Runaway, Homeless Youth Awake at Night


  1. Try: A Penny For Your Life? Survival Costs In A Land No Longer Free