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NY IG report finds false drug test results led to unnecessary punishment for those in prison

Jan 05, 2022 5:45 am

Nick Reisman is reporting for State of Politics thousands of people in New York state prisons received false positive drug test results, leading to unnecessary punishment, according to the results of an investigation made public January 3, by state Inspector General Lucy Lang. The punishments imposed included solitary confinement, longer sentences, delayed parole hearings and the revocation of family visitation privileges. The policies were enacted in 2019, and used tests that ultimately were found to be unreliable and produced widespread false positives, Lee said. The investigation also determined that the state Department of Corrections and Community Supervision failed to fully investigate the reason behind a spike in positive test results after the tests by Microgenics began to be used in January 2019. Use of the testing protocol ended in August 2019. The Inspector General also alleges that DOCCS failed to take corrective action after discovering the high rate of false positives. Lee's office was first alerted to a potential problem in September 2019. The investigation led to 2,500 disciplinary records being expunged as well as privileges being reinstated. At the same time, the use of solitary confinement has been restricted as a punishment for testing positive in a drug test. A spokesman for the corrections department pointed to prison officials alerting the inspector general to problems with Microgenics testing and potential false positives. Read the full story at nystateofpolitics [dot] com.

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