FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, Feb. 4, 2019
Rabiah Burks, 202-822-6700
Federal prisoners at Metropolitan Detention Center in NYC were left without heat as temperatures fell well below freezing
WASHINGTON – Today FAMM President Kevin Ring urged Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY) and Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA) to investigate the recent power and heat outages at the Bureau of Prisons’ (BOP) Metropolitan Detention Center (MDC) in Brooklyn, N.Y. Those incarcerated in MDC were left without heat as temperatures in Brooklyn fell well below freezing. In a letter to ranking members of the House Judiciary Committee, Ring said they should investigate how conditions at MDC came about and what safety policies and practices the BOP has in place when faced with extreme weather events.
“It is inhumane to force prisoners to freeze in prison cells during one of the coldest weeks of the year. They are at the mercy of BOP wardens when facing potentially life-threatening conditions,” said Ring. “We hope the House Judiciary Committee will be able to get to the bottom of what went wrong, and how to prevent it from happening in the future.”
The BOP has faced criticism for their response to extreme weather events in recent years. In 2005 and 2017, prisoners in the United States Penitentiary (USP) in Beaumont, Texas, were not evacuated before Hurricanes Rita and Harvey and endured horrific and unsanitary conditions.
For nearly three decades, FAMM has united the voices of affected families, the formerly incarcerated, and a range of stakeholders and advocates to fight for a more fair and effective justice system. FAMM’s focus on ending a one-size-fits-all punishment structure has led to reforms to sentencing and prison policies in 6 states and is paving the way to programs that support rehabilitation for the 94% of all prisoners who will return to our neighborhoods one day.
FAMM is a national nonpartisan advocacy organization that promotes fair and effective criminal justice policies that safeguard taxpayer dollars and keep our communities safe. Founded in 1991, FAMM is helping transform America’s criminal justice system by uniting the voices of impacted families and individuals and elevating the issues all across the country.
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