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NYCLU sues to get public county jail records

Feb 12, 2024 12:21 pm

Molly Burke reports for the Times Union that the New York Civil Liberties Union sued New York's State Commission of Correction on Feb. 2 in the state Supreme Court in Albany after appealing their Freedom of Information Law request seeking records of investigation into physical and sexual assault complaints in New York county jails. The NYCLU wants the public records of how the commission handles incidents in county jails and the New York City Department of Correction that involve physical assaults or sexual abuse by facilities’ staff. The group filed a Freedom of Information Law request with the commission in July 2022 for the records. The Commission of Correction partially granted the request in September 2022, replying with a ten-page document called “Processing of Reportable Incidents,” which came with redactions due to exemptions cited by the commission from the Freedom of Information Law. But the NYCLU claims that the commission did not provide “further elaboration” on why portions were redacted. The NYCLU is also suing to get the disciplinary records of dozens of law enforcement agencies, including the State Police, dating back two decades. Antony Gemmell, the NYCLU director of detention litigation, said that the commission “is required to investigate reports of staff violence against people behind bars in jails across New York.... Yet the agency’s pattern of secrecy leaves New Yorkers largely in the dark about what, if anything, results from those reports.” Read more about this story in the Times Union.