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News & Press Releases

Apr
26
2016
NYCLU Welcomes Mayor’s Plans for Rikers Reforms in Executive Budget

The de Blasio administration announced today as part of its executive budget funding for a new facility for adolescents who are currently housed at Rikers. The proposed budget includes $170 million over the next two years to build or renovate an existing facility off the island, and will also provide other services to the general population at Rikers, including GED classes, work force training, substance abuse and life skill classes. The following statement can be attributed to NYCLU Executive Director Donna Lieberman:

Apr
22
2016
Use of Solitary Confinement at Rikers Island Drops Sharply

The number of people in solitary confinement at Rikers Island has fallen significantly to 1.7 percent of the jail population at the beginning of April, or 167 people, according to data released by the city’s Department of Correction this week. In 2012, as much as 7.3 percent of the population at Rikers Island was in punitive segregation. The New York Civil Liberties Union has been advocating for years to end the use of solitary on people 21 and younger and reduce the use of the inhumane punishment on all detained and incarcerated people.

Apr
6
2016
NYCLU: Keep Reports of Abuse at Rikers Open to the Public

The New York Civil Liberties Union is filing an amicus brief today urging a state Supreme Court to reject an effort by Rikers Island corrections officers to remove from public view decades of disciplinary decisions about officer misconduct. The request comes at a time when Rikers Island is under intense public scrutiny due to the culture of violence at the facility in which guards regularly abuse incarcerated people with impunity.

Apr
1
2016
Paid Family Leave Passes in Civil Rights Victory

The New York State legislature today is taking action on historic legislation that would provide paid family leave benefits for New York workers. This paid family leave policy will ensure that New Yorkers will no longer have to choose between caring for an infant or an incapacitated parent and keeping their jobs. The benefit will have the greatest impact on the state’s most vulnerable workers - women and low-income workers. The New York Civil Liberties Union is among the advocacy organizations that led the effort to pass the legislation.

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
31
2016
Suspensions Down, School Safety Up: New NYC Data

The New York City Department of Education today released data showing a significant drop in suspensions of New York City public schoolchildren. Between July 1 and December 31 of last year, suspensions fell 32 percent from the same time period in 2014. At the same time, city schools are safer than they have been in a decade, with NYPD data indicating that crime has dropped over 50 percent since 2004.

Mar
16
2016
NYCLU: City’s Public Wi-Fi Raises Privacy Concerns

The city’s new public Wi-Fi network LinkNYC raises several privacy concerns for users, the New York Civil Liberties Union announced today after sending a letter to the Office of the Mayor on Tuesday. CityBridge, the company behind the LinkNYC kiosks that have begun replacing phone booths in Manhattan, retains a vast amount of information about users – often indefinitely – building a massive database that carries a risk of security breaches and unwarranted NYPD surveillance.

Mar
12
2016
State Senate Stands Up for NY’s Families by Including Paid Family Leave in Budget

The New York State Senate released a proposal for paid family leave today as part of its budget that in key respects adopts the proposals put forward by the Paid Family Leave coalition, Governor Cuomo and the State Assembly, and moves New York a significant step closer to smart, sensible solutions that will help New York’s families and businesses. The Senate proposal would grant all workers in New York paid leave with two-thirds of their salaries and job security for 12 weeks to care for a new child or a seriously ill family member.

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.

Mar
2
2016
No Tax Credits for Donors to Private and Religious Schools

The New York Civil Liberties Union is joining a coalition of government watchdog groups, religious associations and education advocates today in Albany to present a legislative briefing on the proposed Parental Choice in Education Act, an education tax credit that would effectively transfer public tax dollars to private and religious schools. The act, which was rejected last year, is geared toward wealthy donors, and allows as much as $1 million in tax credits for donations made to a private or public school.

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