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The New York Civil Liberties Union, with pro bono counsel from Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP, filed a lawsuit against the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision (“DOCCS”) for unlawfully denying the NYCLU’s requests for records related to law enforcement misconduct in state prisons. DOCCS, comprised of 16,700 correction officers across 44 prisons, is the department of the New York State government that oversees the state prisons and parole system.

The NYCLU submitted a FOIL request on October 16, 2020, seeking public records specifically authorized to be disclosed under state FOIL after the repeal of Civil Rights Law § 50-a, a statute that had been used for decades to bar the disclosure of misconduct by law enforcement. DOCCS has withheld records related to grievances filed by people in custody and certain investigations of officer misconduct, and it has redacted without proper explanation many more.


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