Legal Aid Society


LAS Asks Judge to Place City Jails Under Receivership

The Legal Aid Society together with co-counsel Emery Celli Brinckerhoff Abady Ward & Maazel today filed papers stating that the City’s plans to reform the City jails have failed and that a receivership is necessary, as reported by The New York Times.

This comes in response to the City’s continued inability to comply with the core requirements of the court-ordered relief in Nunez v. City of New York, litigation concerning brutality and excessive force in New York City jails, despite seven years of intensive monitoring and four successive remedial orders. The City’s gross non-compliance and patently insufficient plans and promises has failed to abate the suffering that incarcerated New Yorkers face each and every day.

“The consent judgment was entered more than seven years ago, and to date, the City has not substantially complied with the core provisions of that judgment and the four remedial orders that followed. Years of plans, revised protocols, and recommendations have not corrected the City’s intractable failures–subjecting incarcerated New Yorkers to extraordinary suffering, and in far too many instances, death,” said Kayla Simpson, an attorney with the Prisoners’ Rights Project at The Legal Aid Society.

In the past, receiverships have been used to address issues in the nation’s worst jails including the District of Columbia Jail in the mid-90s, Michigan’s Wayne County Jail in the late 80s, and Alabama’s entire prison system in the 1970s. Legal Aid and co-counsel intend to file a motion for contempt and the appointment of a receivership on December 15, 2022.

“The violence in the city jails is worse today than at the outset of the lawsuit because the City has persistently failed to follow court orders and protect the people in its custody,” Simpson continued. “We can wait no longer. At this juncture, a receivership is necessary to protect not only our clients’ constitutional rights, but their health and safety.”