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News & Press Releases

May
19
2016
NYCLU Sues NYPD After it Refuses to Disclose Critical Information About Stingrays

The New York Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit today against the NYPD after the department refused to reveal important information about its acquisition of Stingrays—controversial surveillance devices that spy on cell phones nearby and that can be used to track location. The lawsuit comes after the NYCLU revealed in February that the NYPD has used Stingrays more than 1,000 times since 2008 in investigations ranging from robbery and drug cases to criminal contempt of court, without a written policy.

May
10
2016
Lawsuit Challenges Shameful Exclusion of Farmworkers from Right to Organize

Farmworkers are excluded from the critical protection of the right to organize without fear of retaliation under New York state’s labor law, a violation of the state constitution that forces them to work in life-threatening, sweatshop-like conditions, according to a lawsuit filed by the New York Civil Liberties Union against New York state and Governor Cuomo today in the State Supreme Court. It is the first lawsuit that demands that farmworkers receive the same basic protections from the state that virtually every other worker receives.

Apr
29
2016
NYCLU Posts Notice of Raza and Handschu Settlements

UPDATE: U.S. District Judge Charles S. Haight, Jr. has extended the comment period on the proposed Settlement Agreement amending the Modified Handschu Guidelines to 11:59 P.M. on May 26, 2016. He has also added a final in-court hearing date on June 1, 2016. All class members who wish to comment in support or opposition to the proposed Settlement may register to present comments in person on June 1, or may submit written comments without appearing, but must do so by 11:59 P.M. on May 26, 2016.

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.

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