Legal Services of Central NY has filed a class action suit on behalf of youth detained in the Broome County Jail. This is a major milestone in the struggle against unwarranted medical and physical abuse at the Broome County jail–a jail with an unprecedented death rate and with a record of abuse long reported to no avail by JUST to county officials and the State Attorney General’s office.
As the opening statement notes, “This class-action civil-rights lawsuit challenges the solitary confinement of 16- and 17-year-olds, most of whom have not been convicted of any crime, at the Broome County Correctional Facility (“Broome County Jail” or “the Jail”). Despite an emerging consensus that solitary confinement places juveniles at risk of serious harm-including suicide, psychosis, and post-traumatic stress disorder- and despite a national abandonment of solitary confinement of juveniles, the Broome County Sheriff’s Office has embraced the frequent and arbitrary use of solitary confinement. As the Sheriff’s Office is well aware, these practices are exposing the young people held at the Jail to serious harm. Compounding the profound consequences of the Office’s wanton use of solitary confinement, Sheriff’s Office officials also are denying juveniles basic educational services and denying students with disabilities access to special education supports and services.”BCJComplaintFile