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BROOKLYN DEFENDER SERVICES STATEMENT ON DANGEROUS HEATWAVE AT RIKERS

For Immediate Release…

BROOKLYN DEFENDER SERVICES STATEMENT

ON DANGEROUS HEATWAVE AT RIKERS

With the Heat Index Expected to Reach 111 Degrees Tomorrow, BDS calls on NYC and DOC to Take Emergency Action

(New York, NY) – Today, Kelsey De Avila, Project Director for Jail Services at Brooklyn Defender Services, released the following statement:

“With the scorching heat only threatening to get worse, we are extremely concerned about serious risks to people at Rikers and in other City jails. Most incarcerated people are without air conditioning and the limited number of fans are only in the day rooms, leaving people to swelter, particularly while in their cells. DOC is not providing appropriate summer clothes to many of our clients. People with medical needs have reported feeling nauseous and dizzy. Government has a constitutional obligation to protect the health and safety of people in jail. Yet, much like this past winter’s power outage which left people at the federal Metropolitan Detention Center on lockdown without heat and hot water amidst frigid temperatures, DOC is apparently woefully unprepared for this heat wave. We call on Mayor de Blasio and DOC Commissioner Cynthia Brann to take immediate action to protect people in the City’s custody from dangerous heat conditions.”

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