A bill meant to limit the use of solitary confinement in New York's prison and jail facilities was approved Tuesday in the state Assembly and now goes to the state Senate. 

The measure won the backing of the Democratic-controlled chamber after an hours-long, emotional debate over the measure to curtail the use of segregated confinement. Supporters of scaling back the punishment have likened it to torture. 

The bill was approved 101-49 in the Assembly; the state Senate is expected to take it up this week. 

“Study after study has shown the damaging effects of solitary confinement on a person’s mental health, and I have seen with my own eyes the impacts this inhumane practice has had on my constituents,” Assemblyman Jeff Aubry said. “It is time that we curtail the use of solitary confinement in New York State, and implement real changes in our criminal justice system that will get people the care they need.”

The measure's passage was also celebrated by criminal justice reform advocates who have pushed for changes to the state's prison system. 

“Today, the Assembly took decisive action to tackle head-on the urgent human rights crisis of solitary confinement," said Jerome Wright, a statewide organizer for the #HALTSolitary Campaign.

"Across New York State, survivors of solitary confinement and families grieving loved ones lost in solitary, alongside allies in the mental health, LGBTQ rights, civil rights, and faith communities, have been calling for real change by passing the HALT Solitary Confinement Act and the Assembly has answered the call."