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NYCLU v. New York City Department of Correction

The NYCLU sued the New York City Department of Correction for unlawfully ignoring the NYCLU’s request for the full slate of DOC databases related to misconduct authorized to be disclosed following the repeal of 50-a. The repeal of 50-a ended the era of disciplinary secrecy not just for police officers statewide, but also for corrections officers.

In 2021 DOC published a very narrow set of uniform staff discipline reports, only covering substantiated complaints mostly related to excessive force, false statements, misuse of chemical agents and a failure to perform in their duty since 2019. The data omits entire categories of complaints related to sexual violence or drug smuggling.  In April 2021, the NYCLU submitted a FOIL request seeking every database containing records on staff that have faced any allegations of misconduct, regardless of whether they proceeded to investigatory or trial phases. Specifically, this request sought DOC disciplinary records resulting in internal officer discipline and complaints that did not, as well as the substance of the underlying complaints, to which DOC has not responded. Without an understanding of these databases and their contents, the full extent of misconduct within City jails remains inscrutable to the public.

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