December 3, 2023


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Authorized Assist: Far more than 2,000 N.Y. prisoners have had COVID-19

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STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — The Authorized Aid Society condemned Governor Andrew Cuomo and the state Department of Correction and Local community Supervision (DOCCS) for failing to just take required ways to manage the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) at prisons in the course of New York.

Legal Support alleges that 2,040 New Yorkers in DOCCS custody have analyzed good for the coronavirus through the pandemic, according to the agency.

Very last 7 days, Legal Assist launched an examination of DOCCS information, which the agency stated uncovered that 14 various state prisons noticed a sizeable improve in good COVID-19 cases in eight days, in between Dec. 3 and Dec. 11. The raise totaled 142 new scenarios, which allegedly brings the DOCCS count of incarcerated New Yorkers who have analyzed optimistic for the virus to 2,040, according to Legal Help.

Considering the fact that the pandemic commenced, 18 men and women in DOCCS’ custody have allegedly succumbed to the virus, according to Lawful Support.

Even so, in reaction to the Authorized Aid promises, DOCCS spokesperson, Thomas Mailey, alleges the agency’s quantities are mistaken.

“To put Lawful Aids’ ‘conclusion’ in context, as of Dec. 11, 2020, there are only 249 latest constructive situations in DOCCS amenities, while 1,773 people today, or roughly 88% of the quantity they cite, have now recovered since the starting of this pandemic,” reported Mailey.

DOCCS reported that during the pandemic, the company has worked in session with the state Office of Overall health (DOH) to examination the whole incarcerated inhabitants for COVID-19.

DOCCS claimed it’s is continuing to companion with DOH as aspect of the New York State COVID-19 Vaccination Application that was beforehand announced.


As a final result of the important raise in COVID-19 infections at the Attica, Auburn and Cayuga Correctional Amenities, DOCCS explained visitation at the three services has been quickly suspended until further more see. Other safety measures include programs’ suspension and immediate testing for staff.

“The incarcerated persons continue on to have access to their tablets, kiosks to mail protected messages and the telephones,” stated DOCCS.

Contacting FOR Release OF THE Vulnerable

Lawful Aid is contacting on the point out to launch susceptible prisoners.

“This shameful milestone was totally avoidable had Governor Cuomo and DOCCS heeded the calls from advocates, professional medical gurus and other authorities for instant decarceration of medically susceptible people today,” said Stefen Short, supervising legal professional with the Prisoners’ Legal rights Challenge at The Legal Support Modern society.

“Absent important intervention by Governor Cuomo or DOCCS, it is evident that the condition will only worsen and that the repercussions will be even far more tragic,” said Limited. “The condition have to act quickly to launch all those who are medically vulnerable. This action is vital to safeguard susceptible men and women and to enable those who continue to be in custody to follow social distancing, the only evaluate that can stem the unfold of the virus in DOCCS services.”

DOCCS countered that “every side of the state’s reaction to the COVID-19 outbreak has been guided by information, scientific details, and the steerage of general public wellness professionals at DOH and the CDC, and the operate of DOCCS to shield the protection of New York’s corrections staff and incarcerated inhabitants is no various. DOCCS is at present subsequent all DOH recommendations relating to congregate options at each of its facilities.”


DOCCS has just lately formulated, in session with DOH, an asymptomatic surveillance testing strategy that will allow for a selection of incarcerated persons from each individual facility to be examined just about every weekday, from a number of housing models, in order to avert possible outbreaks and target means to facilities and housing units discovered as a potential difficulty, in accordance to the agency.


DOCCS said they adhering to strategies are also in location:

  • The asymptomatic surveillance screening system is in addition to tests people today who display screen signs and symptoms and those who are determined as element of a get in touch with trace.
  • Incarcerated persons displaying signs or symptoms are straight away isolated and tested.
  • If a constructive circumstance is verified, a call trace is done and these determined are quarantined and examined.
  • Any unique who is COVID-19 beneficial or in quarantine as component of a call trace is not authorized a visit.
  • In accordance with the Governor’s Govt Get and DOH assistance, correction officers and other critical correctional facility personnel, absent any signs, can ask for to be analyzed by their individual physician, or at one particular of the state’s tests web sites.

As of Dec. 11, 2020, the whole incarcerated inhabitants in point out correctional services is 35,049, in accordance to DOCCS.

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