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Suit accuses state of keeping mentally ill inmates imprisoned past release dates

Jan 25, 2019 12:19 am
Bethany Bump reports in the Albany Times Union that the Legal Aid Society and Disability Rights New York filed a class action suit Jan. 23 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District against Gov. Andrew Cuomo and two state agencies, alleging they are keeping mentally ill inmates imprisoned longer than they should. The state Office of Mental Health and Department of Corrections and Community Supervision are accused of keeping mentally ill inmates as long as 16 months past their approved release dates. "Our clients have either reached their release date or fully completed their sentences, and have every right to reintegrate with their families and communities," said Stefen Short, a staff attorney with the Prisoners' Rights Project at The Legal Aid Society. "It's shameful that New York state keeps them in prison simply because they have mental illnesses and need supportive housing. This is an abhorrent practice, and New York must end it immediately, and provide our clients with the resources to facilitate their release." Read the full story in the Albany Times Union.