A jail in Brooklyn was recently without power and heat during one of the coldest times of the year. Now, families of the inmates are trying to file lawsuits because they believe the lack of power created a “humanitarian crisis.” Several people stood outside the jail with megaphones to try to talk to the inmates inside. Numerous attorneys have gathered together to file the lawsuits in New York. They are specifically filing against the warden of the jail and the Federal Bureau of Prisons because the facility continued to keep the inmates inside the building when temperatures dropped to dangerously low levels.
Attorneys filed the lawsuits on February 4, only a few days after the inmates were held in the jail with no heat. The attorneys are fighting on behalf of the inmates in the jail as well as the families but want other jails in the country to take note about the conditions that the inmates were in and how they should avoid anything like this happening in the future. The Metropolitan Detention Center is a jail that houses mostly inmates who are waiting to go to trial. Most of the people who are there have not been sentenced yet and those who have are only serving minimal sentences. There are over 1,500 inmates in the jail, putting a strain on the services that are offered and the manpower that it takes to control the inmates.
In late-January, a fire started in one of the switch rooms in the building. Because of the government shutdown that was taking place at the same time, attorneys were unable to talk to the inmates to find out what was going on in the building. Although inmates still had hot water and minimal power, many of the wings in the building started to get cold as the heat wasn’t on for a long period of time. Investigators with the state of New York will examine what happened to determine who should be held responsible if anyone at all.