Amid MCC Closure, Velázquez, Nadler Lead 12 Bicameral Members of Congress in Probing BOP on Next Steps for Detainees
Washington, D.C.—With the announcement of the closure of the Metropolitan Correctional Center (MCC) in Manhattan, Reps. Nydia M. Velázquez (D-NY) and Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) led ten House members and New York’s two Senators in a letter to the Bureau of Prisons raising concerns over the welfare of detainees, many of whom have been transferred to the Metropolitan Detention Center (MDC) in Brooklyn, which has serious facility and staffing needs.
Below are excerpts from the letter:
“Over the years, our offices have raised profound concerns over the continued inability of federal facilities run by the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) in the City of New York to meet the needs of federal detainees at both MCC and the Metropolitan Detention Center (MDC) in Brooklyn, NY. While we recognize and applaud the Bureau’s decision to close the MCC over safety and security conditions at the facility, the closure also brings challenges that must be considered, particularly as the nation continues to grapple with the on-going public health emergency generated by the coronavirus.”
“The future remains unclear for the current population that must still be relocated from MCC. It is our offices’ understanding that, over the past several months, the Bureau already has moved the majority of pretrial detainees from MCC to the Brooklyn MDC. This substantial movement of detainees—without public notice—has taken a significant toll on staff, raised security concerns, and heightened the already urgent medical care crisis at MDC. We are worried that the MDC facility may be unable to cope with additional detainees absent changes in staffing and resources.”
In addition to Velázquez and Nadler, the letter is signed by: Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten E. Gillibrand; and House members: Carolyn B. Maloney, Yvette D. Clarke, Gregory W. Meeks, Grace Meng, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Adriano Espaillat, Jamaal Bowman, Ritchie Torres, Thomas R. Suozzi, and Hakeem S. Jeffries.
The full letter is online here.