Detention center in Brooklyn without heat and power for past week

Detention center in Brooklyn without heat and power for past week

February 1, 2019

Parts of the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn have been without heat and power for the past week, leaving inmates freezing in the dark, The Post has learned.

The conditions at the federal lockup in Sunset Park were detailed in court documents filed Thursday by Benjamin Yaster, a lawyer with the Federal Defenders of New York.

Yaster said his client, Dino Sanchez, is being housed in Unit 22 on the seventh floor, which has been without electricity and heat since a fire broke out at the facility Sunday.

“Since January 27, 2019, Mr. Sanchez’s housing unit has been without heat, and has grown increasing [sic] cold, due to the sub-zero temperatures outside,” Yaster said in a sworn affidavit. “Mr. Sanchez has only been given the single, thin blanket he received upon intake. He has not been provided any additional blankets or clothing while the heat is out. Further, hot water has been unavailable for long stretches of time.”

Yaster said the conditions have exacerbated Sanchez’s chronic asthma. And because Sanchez is in isolation for 23 hours a day, he has been unable to purchase “thermal shirts or pants” or blankets from the commissary, the filing said. Sanchez is only dressed in a short-sleeved jumpsuit, T-shirt, underwear and socks that he was given when he detained following his Jan. 16 arrest, the lawyer said.

In his emergency request for bail, the lawyer warns that his client “is likely to have another episode — potentially at night, when his housing unit is dark and attending officers may be unable to see and respond to him.”

The aftermath of the fire has also caused toxic air to permeate the prison, sources said. Corrections officers have been given face masks to wear, though inmates have not, according to sources.

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