Friday, April 6, 2012

Inmates File Class-Action Lawsuit Over 'Squalid, Unhygienic and Hazardous Living Conditions' at NY Jails

What's that smell? The New York Civil Liberties Union, on behalf of several current and former inmates at the Riverhead and Yaphank jails in Suffolk County, New York, have slapped the state with a class-action lawsuit because of, what they say is, "inhumane conditions that deprive them of the basic human need for a sanitary and warm environment." What the fumes from raw sewage, that is backed up in their cells and showering areas regularly, has make them sick. The men, who are housed on the jail awaiting sentencing or convicted for non-violent offenses, write: "[inmates] have had other men’s fecal matter and waste rise up through the pipes and spout onto their buttocks when using their own toilets. The toilet seats have accrued filth over time as a result of the frequent wasteback-up and overflow, and the residue has caused the men to suffer from rashes on their buttocks." The men also claim they have no access to clean drinking water, there's no heat, there's dangerous black mold everywhere and a host of disease-carrying -- like rats! -- roam wild. In fact, mixed in with the rust and chips of paint from the bar chips of paint peeling off the walls into their food, one inmate found a rat's tail in his food. For this violation of their Constitutional rights, the inmates are asking the court to award them compensatory and punitive damages.

Here's Jason Porter, who spent two months at Riverhead, explains the horrible conditions.

This is the 42-page lawsuit. It will leave you gagging. Literally.

source: Courthouse News

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