Johnson and Criminal Justice Committee Chair Keith Powers sent the below and
attached letter to DOC Commissioner Cynthia Brann after reports of incarcerated
persons suffering due to the heat wave
Dear Commissioner Brann,
Since New York City has activated its Emergency Heat Plan to
address the dangerous weather conditions this weekend, the Department of
Correction has failed to release a plan to keep people in its custody safe and
cool. Many housing units in city jails do not have air conditioning, including
those in which individuals are locked in their cells for extended periods of
time. Extreme heat, as the Mayor has stated, is dangerous and can kill. For
those in custody without air conditioning, we need to know what steps the
Department is taking to protect their lives and well-being. We have also heard
reports that some incarcerated individuals are being denied access to fans, and
need to know details about which incarcerated individuals have access to fans
and which are denied this critical access.
Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter.