Federal inmates in NY denied visits amid shutdown

January 15, 2019 - 6:53 pm

NEW YORK (AP) -- Defense attorneys say federal inmates awaiting trial in New York have been denied visits with their families and lawyers due to staffing shortages worsened by the partial government shutdown.

Some inmates have refused meals at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan. Details surrounding the hunger strike remained unclear, and it's not clear when it began.

The U.S. Bureau of Prisons said in an email Tuesday that it had ``suspended'' visitation at the facility but that it has ``since resumed.''

The agency did not comment on the hunger strike.

David Patton, head of the federal defenders officers in New York, says a higher than usual number of correctional officers are calling in sick because they have not been receiving their pay checks during the longest government shutdown in U.S. history.