DEVELOPING: 1,000 Inmates Jailed Without Heat


SUNSET PARK – “More than a thousand inmates have been stuck in freezing cells at a federal jail on the Brooklyn waterfront that has had limited power and heat for at least this week, according to federal public defenders and leaders of the union representing the jail’s corrections officers,” New York Times reported this afternoon.

They beat us to the story we were working on and did an amazing job, so read it and raise hell. This is what we were told by the Bureau of Prisons:

“Currently, MDC Brooklyn is experiencing a partial power outage.   The institution is operating on emergency power, cells have heat and hot water, there is lighting in the common areas and inmates are receiving hot meals.

At this time, access for inmates to phones and inmate messaging, as well as commissary is temporarily affected.  However, essential personal hygiene items and medical services continue to be provided.

Unrelated to the partial power outage, MDC Brooklyn has been placed on limited operational status. The institution remains secure.

Con Edison has been dealing with numerous power emergencies in the community.  MDC Brooklyn is working with Con Edison to resolve the issue as soon as possible.

Visitors should continue to check the public website ( for any impact on visiting.”

That statement seems to contradict New York Times reporting, and Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez is touring the facility right now and we’ll update on the outcome.

Councilman Carlos Menchaca is organizing:

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  1. This likely happens often in our prison system especially as has been recounted to me in the intake system of Riker’s Island, where people who have been arrested or charged (but not judged or convicted) are punished by being initially put into crowded holding pens for long periods – holding pens exposed to frigid blasts of air in the winter, with blocked up toilets, and no place to rest. People- all people- have the right not be punished without due process.

  2. @K Harris and Jason: the Bible has a few words for you… Be kinder to the least of us – perhaps you’ll avoid everlasting fire.

    “Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:
    For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink:
    I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.
    Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?
    Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.”
    Matthew 25:41-45

  3. Lev: By “the least of us” I assume you mean the people who are preyed upon by these inmates, correct? The women who are raped, the children who are abused, the seniors who are robbed, etc.

  4. @Linda: That verse is pretty clear – it even mentions “prison” by name. And just in case it was still ambiguous – the previous verse mentions the same.

    Therefore: these inmates were/will be judged for what they’ve done (some of them are there for “pretrial detention” – Google the term). And they may very well join “the devil and his angels”, so don’t be like them – be more like Jesus.


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