Conditions in U.S. prisons can be nothing short of horrendous. Many inmates are treated with disrespect, and they are also kept in prison for longer than their sentences allow. In one recent prisoner abuse case from New York City’s Rikers Island Jail, a 55-year-old inmate was falsely imprisoned for being detained at the jail 252 days more than was legally permitted.
The man had already served his two- to four-year sentence following a burglary conviction. He should have been released on Feb. 12, 2015, but corrections officials did not release him until Dec. 19, 2015. He was also given an extension in sentencing for allegedly stealing coffee in 2014.
Since the Rikers Island facility is a jail, and not a prison, many of the inmates held there are awaiting trial and haven’t been convicted of their alleged crimes. Not only is this facility known for various civil rights abuses, but it is also known for violently stoking conflict among inmates, and prison guards at Rikers Island have a reputation for employing excessive force.
In this case, the man told officials that they were keeping him in the facility for too long. Nevertheless, no one listened to the man’s complaints, his lawyer said.
The extended jail stay happened because corrections officials did not credit the man with a previous amount of time he spent while waiting for his trial to proceed. The state of New York, meanwhile, says that this mix-up was not its fault because the state did not receive the proper paperwork required to credit the man with his waiting time spent in jail.
Have you been held in jail or prison longer than you should have been? There may be a way for you to seek financial compensation for this violation of civil rights and the law.
Source: Newsweek, “Delayed freedom: Man held at NYC jail claims he was kept for 8 extra months for no reason,” Lauren Gill, Dec. 26, 2017