Jail Sued, to be Visited by Federal Judge Due to Freezing Conditions and Lockdown

The Metropolitan Detention Center (M.D.C.), a federal jail in Brooklyn, is the subject of a new lawsuit and will be toured by a federal judge and senior federal defender after a power outage caused corrections officials to reportedly hold inmates on at least partial lockdown for days with no heat. A different judge has ordered the jail to allow inmates to have visits with their lawyers, which were apparently canceled last week as well.

The M.D.C. currently houses approximately 1,600 inmates, the majority of whom are waiting for court dates but have not been convicted of crimes. The conditions at the jail have become a focus for the entire federal bench in Brooklyn, where judges were planning to convene to discuss the situation there. The judge scheduled to tour the jail has also ordered officials from the Bureau of Prisons to appear before her at a hearing regarding inmates’ claims about jail conditions.

Additional Reading

Brooklyn Jail to Be Visited by Federal Judge After Heat and Power Crisis , The New York Times, February 4, 2019

Complaint, filed January 4, 2019 in Federal Defenders of New York, Inc. v. Federal Bureau of Prisons, et al.

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