Officials of the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn, New York have said that power is back at the facility after days of partial outage.
Inmates at the federal jail spent their weekend in cold, dark cells and this left many people worried about the health condition of the prisoners. The partial power outage started after the room housing electrical switches of one of the buildings caught fire. The Inmates were not allowed access to visitors, attorneys, and emails.
The governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo was among those who called the attention of the Justice Department to the situation at the facility. In a statement, the governor said that over one thousand inmates were left without hot water, heat or lighting in a frigid weather condition. “Prisoners are human beings too and they deserve to be treated with dignity” he added.
According to reports, the temperature at the detention center was as low as 49 degrees and the absence of heat made life difficult for inmates and officials at the facility.
Protesters stormed the building on Saturday with placards and some of them read “Torture at the MDC,” and “Shut it down.”
Responding to the situation, the Federal Bureau of Prisons said that the authorities are doing all they can to restore power to the facility. Shortly after the problem was fixed, they released another statement saying that medical experts have examined the inmates at the facility and they will continue a cell-by-cell check to ensure that sick inmates get proper treatment.
The Mayor of New York, Bill de Blasio, tweeted earlier that the city would send blankets, hand warmers, and generators to the facility which is home to 1,654 inmates.
Letitia A. James, the attorney general of New York, said in a statement, that detaining people without basic amenities, medical care or access to counsel is illegal, unacceptable and cruel. “These prisoners, like every other American, have rights and they must be enforced,” he said.