Skip navigation
× You have 2 more free articles available this month. Subscribe today.

Unrest in NY Prisons

[Editor's Note: New York state's Republican majority legislature passed laws that mandate double bunking of the NYDOC prison system. Most cells in NY state prisons are tiny, a mere 9' x 6'. There is a high incidence of both AIDS and the deadly "drug resistant strain of TB" in NY prisons. The following update was sent to us by a NY reader.]

In August, 95 in Shawangunk Prison there was a three week lock down because of the double bunking coming into effect in September, and about the death penalty and other oppressive matters. It was a non-violent 'no work" stoppage.

In August '95 and September '95 prisoners in Eastern Prison started protesting the upcoming double bunking, death penalty, and "good time" (which there is none in New York state now). During these periods prisoners were wearing all state issue greens instead of their personal clothing, and they were not talking in the mess hall during meals.

On September 12, 1995 in Eastern Prison at the night recreation period nobody went to the yard. On September 13th, the anniversary of the Attica uprising, there was a non-violent work stoppage - complete shutdown where out of over 900 prisoners at least 800 participated in the work stoppage. On this same day the prison administration started transferring prisoners to other prisons throughout the system. About 200 or more got transferred. This retaliatory action was done in about 24 hours.

This non-violent shut-down at Eastern Prison was over by September 14th, but other prisons throughout New York state, Attica, Auburn, Clinton, Comstock and some others went on a brief hunger strike in behalf of the oppressive conditions and in memory of the Attica riot in 1971.

Presently New York state law has reinstated the death penalty - the 38th state. Almost all the 70 prisons in the state prison system are double bunking. We have lost the five (5) free letters, the discount on our commissary purchases, and the $40.00 release (gate) money.

About the $1.00 a week rent, charge to participate in the Family Reunion Visit and to pay a charge for medical treatment are all just proposals now. These prison authorities are scheming up anything to make money off us prisoners.

E.O.E., NY

As a digital subscriber to Prison Legal News, you can access full text and downloads for this and other premium content.

Subscribe today

Already a subscriber? Login