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Advocacy group files lawsuit to compel NYS to release report on prison suicides

The Legal Aid Society has filed a lawsuit against the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision (DOCCS). They’re seeking a court order to compel the agency to release a report on the high rate of suicides in prisons across the state.

The petition filed in state Supreme Court says the DOCCS improperly denied the nonprofit group’s request for the records under the state’s Freedom of Information Law, according to the Albany Times-Union.


The petition notes that nearly a third of the state’s prison suicides “occurred in solitary confinement, and the rate of suicides in solitary in New York’s prisons was 10 times the national prison suicide rate.” They also said people of color made up 65% of those deaths in solitary confinement.

Officials with the DOCCS have declined to comment on the case, but noted that the rate of confirmed suicides in state prisons has remained steady over the past decade, with 20 in 2010, 10 in 2015, and 15 in 2021.



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