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Advocates: NYC inmates stuck in freezing cells

February 01, 2019 - 5:05 pm

NEW YORK (AP) -- Public defenders and a correction officers' union say more than 1,000 inmates have been stuck in cold cells at a federal jail for at least a week.

The lead federal defender in Brooklyn, Deirdre von Dornum, tells The New York Times that inmates have flooded federal defenders' offices with calls about poor heating, little or no hot water and dark cells at the Metropolitan Detention Center.

Paralegal Rachel Bass says ``frantic'' callers couldn't get extra blankets or clothing and complained of congestion and sore throats.

One inmate said a corrections officer checked the temperature in a housing unit and it was 34 degrees.

Jail officials say the building experienced a partial power outage on Saturday but denied that it affected heat and hot water.