Legal Aid Testifies Before NYC Council on Violence in New York City Jails

Sarah Kerr, Staff Attorney in the Prisoners' Rights Project, and Cynthia Conti-Cook, Staff Attorney in the Special Litigation Unit of the Criminal Practice, testified before the New York City Council Committee on Fire and Criminal Justice Services on Oversight – Examining Violence in New York City’s Jails and the City’s Response.

PRP and others at Legal Aid have testified repeatedly about the extraordinary amount and severity of violence in the jails. Currently, the complaints we receive concerning staff violence remain as frequent and as serious as ever. We continue to receive complaints about assaults, threats of assault and requests to be placed into protective custody with distressing regularity.

Violence in the jails remains out of control. The violence problem cannot be directly solved by the City Council, but the Council can and should enact measures to ensure that both the amount and seriousness of violence and the operation of measures that are nominally taken to control it are recorded reliably and disclosed transparently