Published: Mon, February 04, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

New York Attorney General Enters Brooklyn Prison Lacking Heat For Days

New York Attorney General Enters Brooklyn Prison Lacking Heat For Days

Reports indicate that the temperature inside the federal detention center's housing units have dipped to 34 degrees (1 Celsius).

Andrew Cuomo (D) on Sunday called for a Justice Department investigation into the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn, where frigid conditions reportedly have left inmates begging for help. "Those individuals with medical conditions, unfortunately, their medical conditions are not being addressed", she said.

Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., who also toured the jail, tweeted Saturday that it was clear officials "have been callously placing the health & safety of the inmates at this facility at risk".

"I'd trade places with him any day, that's my child", she said.

While many make complaints that the detention centers inmates are criminals, most are still awaiting trial and haven't been convicted.

"Today's confrontation between the Bureau of Prisons and family members of people jailed at MDC highlights the desperate need to address the risky, inhumane and unlawful conditions inside the facility", executive director Donna Lieberman said in a statement.

"They're really, really scared", Rachel Bass, a paralegal at the Brooklyn federal defenders office, told the New York Times on Thursday after she had spoken to 15 inmates by phone.

Inmates at a federal jail in Brooklyn have suffered for days without heat or power during a wintry cold snap, according to lawyers and US lawmakers who rallied outside the jail on Saturday demanding the problems be fixed and ill inmates moved. Officials say power is expected back on Monday.

The mayor later tweeted pictures from a loading dock at the facility, saying that generators were also delivered for the prisoners.

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"With the heat and hot water operational, and the restoration of electrical power, the facility can now begin to return to regular operations", Hornbuckle said.

Along with that, the inmate demonstrated that the toilet isn't functioning properly.

Some inmates have been able to talk to lawyers with the Federal Defenders on a dedicated line, but inmates represented by other lawyers haven't been able to call them, the lawyers said.

Officials with the American Federation of Government Employees, the union that represents corrections officers at the jail, confirmed the lawyers' accounts of the jail conditions in interviews with the Times.

"They're just waiting for a disaster to happen", jail employee Rhonda Barnwell, who works in the facility's medical station, told reporters Friday. "They've basically been incommunicado from their attorneys since the 27th, which is when the electrical fire happened".

Pedreira previously said federal prison officers are working while wearing hats, coats and scarves.

"They're not allowing attorneys to come in, they're not allowing anybody to come in", she said. While she recovered, her fans thanked her for taking action and standing up for inmates' rights. Demonstrators, who had been there since Saturday, chanted "Heat is a human right!"

"This is worse than countries that we denounce", the Rev. Al Sharpton said at his weekly rally. "No one in NY should live in fear that they may freeze to death alone in the dark".

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