Legal Aid Society


LAS Files for Independent Receiver of NYC Jails

The Legal Aid Society and Emery Celli Brinckerhoff Abady Ward & Maazel LLP, counsel for plaintiffs in Nunez v. City of New York, have filed a contempt motion and application to secure the appointment of an independent receiver over New York City’s jail system.

Despite eight years of oversight by the court and the Federal Monitor, and successive court interventions and remedial orders, the New York City Department of Correction’s (DOC) pattern and practice of unconstitutional use of force persists.

The risk of harm currently facing incarcerated New Yorkers is even higher than it was in 2015, when the court entered a consent judgment to remedy the longstanding unconstitutional conditions in the jails. As a result, thousands of people incarcerated in DOC facilities have suffered extreme and intolerable levels of violence and remain in imminent risk of further harm on a daily basis.

“The levels of violence and brutality in the City jails that exist today were unimaginable when the Consent Judgment was entered in 2015, and the City has demonstrated through eight years of recalcitrance and defiance of court orders that it cannot and will not reform its unconstitutional practices,” said Mary Lynne Werlwas, director of the Prisoners’ Rights Project at The Legal Aid Society. “A receiver with the authority and mandate to make the difficult decisions the City will not is needed to secure the progress that two administrations and multiple Correction commissioners have all failed to achieve, and protect the constitutional rights of all people incarcerated in New York City jails.”