An NYC federal jail doesn’t have heat or electricity, prompting protests

Weeklong power outage at New York federal jail leaves inmates without heat or light in the cold

Weeklong power outage at New York federal jail leaves inmates without heat or light in the cold

The jail, which is operated by the federal government, holds more than 1,600 inmates, according to The New York Times.

It's been over a week since inmates at the MDC Brooklyn Detention Center in Brooklyn, NY has complained of inhumane living conditions including no heat, food, medicine, or working toilets.

"In the coming days, the Department will work with the Bureau of Prisons to examine what happened and ensure the facility has the power, heat and backup systems in place to prevent the problem from re-occurring", said Wyn Hornbuckle, deputy director of public affairs for the Justice Department.

Love & Hip Hop star Yandy Smith was pepper sprayed on Sunday while protesting outside the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn, New York, FOX 5 News' Lisa Evers first reported on social media.

"These allegations are a violation of human decency and dignity", the governor said in his statement.

According to lawyers from the Federal Defenders of NY, a non profit that defends low-income people, the center has had electrical problems since the beginning of the year. "Let's treat them that way".

Rhonda Barnwell, who works in the jail's medical station, told the News the facility had no electricity and was on a generator. Patton said he was unable to go into detail about the suit until after it is filed. Prisoners communicated with protesters by banging on the jail windows. Temperatures have been dropping into the teens at night.

Spilke said the temperature inside the building where Seguro-Genao is housed has reportedly been as low as 43 degrees Fahrenheit. The low Monday morning will be in the upper 30s.

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Velazquez said fellow New York Democratic Congress members Jerry Nadler and Carolyn Maloney joined her Saturday along with city and state lawmakers.

"My understanding is they're fully locked down in their dark cells", said Dierdre von Dornum, the lead federal defender in Brooklyn.

A spokeswoman for Herman Quay, the jail's warden, told the Times in an email that the building experienced a partial power outage on Saturday, but she denied that it had affected heat and hot water in the jail's housing units.

The BOP issued a statement on Saturday that they expect electricity to be restored on Monday, over a week after the fire cut power.

And it said prison officials were largely unresponsive when lawyers sought information about "troubling reports" by inmates. The dystopian scene unfolded Friday evening inside and outside the Metropolitan Detention Center in Sunset Park as prisoners on each floor of the 14-story lockup frantically gestured to shocked passersby in a desperate cry for help.

"Today's confrontation between the Bureau of Prisons and family members of people jailed at MDC highlights the desperate need to address the unsafe, inhumane and unlawful conditions inside the facility", NYCLU executive director Donna Lieberman said. "My office is in touch with legal service providers and inmates' attorneys, and closely monitoring this deeply disturbing situation".

The trouble began on January 27 when an electrical panel caught fire at the prison, cutting off power to part of the facility. "According to the BOP website, "(Such) facilities are institutions with special missions, such as the detention of pretrial offenders; the treatment of inmates with serious or chronic medical problems; or the containment of extremely risky, violent, or escape-prone inmates".

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