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News & Press Releases

Jan
13
2015
New Rules Make Rikers a Leader in Solitary Confinement Reform

The New York City Board of Correction today announced nationally unprecedented new rules governing the use of solitary confinement at Rikers Island, including ending its use on people 21 and younger and reducing solitary confinement for all prisoners to no more than 30 consecutive days. The New York Civil Liberties Union was among the organizations pressing the Board for the reforms.

Jan
6
2015
NYCLU Applauds Onondaga Co. Legislature for Improving Oversight of Jail

The Onondaga County Legislature today passed legislation that will improve oversight at the local jail and help ensure that the basic rights of people incarcerated there are protected. The bill comes after the deaths of Chuniece Patterson and Raul Pinet Jr., two prisoners who died while in custody at the Onondaga County Justice Center. The New York Civil Liberties Union applauded the Legislature for standing up for basic transparency and accountability around serious issues such as use of force against prisoners and the grievous injury or death of a prisoner or employee at the jail.

Dec
30
2014
NYCLU Applauds Cuomo Veto of Bill That Would Decrease Accountability at Rikers Island

Governor Cuomo late last night vetoed a bill drafted by the correction officers' union that seeks to protect guards from prosecution for acts of brutality against inmates at Rikers Island facilities. The bill would have given the Queens District Attorney exclusive jurisdiction in such cases.

Dec
19
2014
With Reforms, Rikers Housing Unit Can Improve Prison Conditions

At a New York City Board of Correction hearing, the New York Civil Liberties Union today submitted testimony in support of comprehensive reforms to the use of punitive segregation and solitary confinement. The Board is considering a proposal for a new housing unit, “enhanced supervision housing,” for incarcerated people who are deemed to pose a serious threat to safety.

Dec
12
2014
NYCLU Releases Police Reform Platform for New York State

The New York Civil Liberties Union today sent a letter to Governor Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio proposing a platform for statewide and citywide police reform focusing on de-escalation of policing practices and meaningful accountability for police wrongdoing.

Dec
3
2014
NYCLU Sues to Allow Families to Visit the Gravesites of their Loved Ones on Hart Island

The New York Civil Liberties Union today filed a class-action lawsuit to allow family members to visit the graves of their loved ones buried in New York City’s potter’s field, Hart Island – the final resting place for some 1 million people and the largest mass grave in the United States. Current restrictive policies by the Department of Corrections (DOC), which uses prison labor to bury poor or unknown people and oversees all operations on the island, bar people from visiting the graves of their loved ones.

Oct
31
2014
New School Suspension Data Shows Need for Overhaul of Discipline Policies

The New York City Department of Education today released new data on the number of school suspensions for the 2013-14 school year and its biannual report on the number of suspensions from January to June 2014, the first six month period of the de Blasio administration. The data for the 2013-14 school year indicates that school suspensions are at the same levels since the previous year, as are the disparities in school suspensions for black and Latino students and students with special needs.

Oct
21
2014
Settlement Begins Historic Reformation of Public Defense in New York State

The New York Civil Liberties Union and the law firm of Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP today announced a historic settlement that overhauls public defense in five counties and lays the foundation for statewide reform of New York’s broken public defense system. By entering into the agreement, the state is taking responsibility for providing public defense for the first time in the more than 50 years since the Supreme Court held that it is a state obligation.

Oct
9
2014
NYCLU: School Safety Officers Violated Journalist’s First Amendment Rights

Last night education journalist Lindsey Christ from NY 1 News reported that in two separate incidents on Tuesday and Wednesday this week, NYPD school safety officers interfered with her reporting on city schools and filming on city sidewalks. On Tuesday in Park Slope, a school safety officer reportedly confronted Christ as her news team was trying to interview a student across the street from a school and broke the lens guard off their camera, wrongly claiming that they could not film NYPD officers.

Oct
8
2014
NYCLU: Poor Education is Part of Widespread Mistreatment of Youth at Rikers Island

At a City Council hearing about the treatment of adolescents in New York City jails, the New York Civil Liberties Union will today testify about ways to improve the brutal conditions suffered by minors incarcerated at Rikers Island, particularly those in solitary confinement, and the need for educational services critical for rehabilitation.

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