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Complaint paints ugly picture of Rensselaer County Jail

Sep 22, 2021 3:03 pm

Kenneth C. Crowe II reports in the Times Union that a civil rights complaint has been filed with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security concerning alleged physical abuse and unsanitary conditions at the Rensselaer County Jail. Several immigrant rights groups filed the complaint Sept. 9 complaint, and the anonymous woman behind the allegations says it has already led to retaliation from jail officials. Currently, there are five immigrant women being held at the Rensselaer County Jail. The woman making the allegations is being called "ms. Q" in court documents. She alleges that a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement employee “violently tugged on Ms. Q’s shackles, causing her ankle shackles to get caught on a grate, and causing Ms. Q to fall. Because Ms. Q’s wrists, hips, and feet were shackled together, she was unable to break her fall with her hands, and she landed on her head. Ms. Q reports later being told to clean herself in the sink inside her cell, despite being covered in blood,” according to a statement issued about the incident. The complaint also outlines lack of medical care, filthy living conditions, clogged toilets, littered floors, barely operable sinks, and inmates not being provided sanitary pads and no access to showers for up to 10 days. ICE officials did not comment on the complaint, but the sheriff's office said, "The female inmate’s main complaint, who was scheduled for deportation, was she did not want to be quarantined upon arrival to the facility, which is, due to COVID-19, policy for all new admissions into the Rensselaer County Jail. She was given a grievance form, which she filled out, but later signed off stating everything was alright and no longer wished to further the grievance." Read more about this story in the Times Union.