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News & Press Releases

Mar
31
2016
Federal Judge Approves Solitary Confinement Overhaul in New York State

Federal Judge Shira A. Scheindlin today approved a settlement agreement between the New York Civil Liberties Union and New York State that will comprehensively overhaul solitary confinement in New York State -- one of the largest prison systems in the country -- and provide a framework for ending the state’s overreliance on extreme isolation.

Mar
15
2016
NYCLU Sues Buffalo Police Department for Refusing to Open its Books

The New York Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit against the Buffalo Police Department last evening after it refused to comply with a Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) request seeking basic information about how one of the largest police departments in the state functions. The NYCLU sought policies and data on a variety of policing tactics, such as the use of force, stops and temporary detentions, surveillance technologies and the enforcement of non-criminal offenses.

Mar
9
2016
No Charges in Unarmed Teen’s Death Shows Need for Police Accountability

The Justice Department announced yesterday that it would not convene a grand jury in the death of Ramarley Graham, an unarmed teenager who was shot and killed by an NYPD officer in his Bronx home while his grandmother was present four years ago. The Justice Department began its investigation after a Bronx grand jury failed to indict the officer involved in Ramarley Graham’s death. An earlier grand jury had indicted the officer on manslaughter charges, but a judge dismissed the case on a legal technicality. The officer remains employed by the NYPD.

Feb
11
2016
Speaker Proposes Major Reforms to Rikers in State of City Address

In response to New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito’s State of the City address, the New York Civil Liberties Union released the following statement, attributable to Executive Director Donna Lieberman:

Jan
13
2016
Governor’s Progressive Agenda Deserves Support but Must Include Statewide Public Defense

In response to Governor Cuomo’s State of the State address, the New York Civil Liberties Union released the following statement, attributable to Executive Director Donna Lieberman:

Dec
16
2015
Historic Settlement Overhauls Solitary Confinement in New York

The New York Civil Liberties Union and New York State today announced a settlement agreement that will comprehensively overhaul solitary confinement in New York State -- one of the largest prison systems in the country -- and provide a framework for ending the state’s overreliance on extreme isolation. The agreement will result in the end of traditional solitary confinement for more than 1,100 people -- one-quarter of the current solitary population -- who will either be placed in alternative units or provided with less isolating, more rehabilitative conditions.

Dec
10
2015
Stop-and-Frisk Down, Safety Up: NYCLU Data Analysis

Stop-and-frisks have fallen dramatically while crime in New York City remains at record lows, according to data analysis released today by the New York Civil Liberties Union. As stops fell 93 percent between 2011 and 2014, murders and shootings have plummeted and other serious crimes have dropped significantly as well.

Nov
10
2015
NYCLU Commends Plan to Increase Minimum Wage to $15 for State Workers

New York State will gradually increase the minimum hourly wage for state workers to $15 an hour, Governor Cuomo announced on Tuesday through news reports, placing New York’s public employees far ahead of other states on minimum wage. Using executive authority, the governor will gradually increase the hourly rate: State workers in New York City are set to earn $15 an hour by the end of 2018, and state workers outside of New York City will see wages rise to $15 by an hour by the end of 2021.

Oct
16
2015
Proposed Rikers Rules Unlikely to Reduce Violence and Will Hinder Rehabilitation

The New York Civil Liberties Union will testify today in front of the New York City Board of Correction, urging its members to reject rule changes proposed by the city’s Department of Correction that create obstacles to rehabilitation by restricting visitations between people who are incarcerated and their family members, and rolling back groundbreaking reforms that limited solitary confinement sentences to 30 days.

Aug
18
2015
NYCLU Motion: Garner Grand Jury Records Must Be Public

The New York Civil Liberties Union today requested that the New York Court of Appeals review a lower court’s decision to keep secret records from the Grand Jury which failed to indict an NYPD officer in the death of Eric Garner. The lack of accountability for Eric Garner’s death dramatically shook the public’s confidence in the grand jury system and subsequently prompted conflicting policy proposals, including and up to abolishing the grand jury system altogether.

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