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As Hochul’s Deadline Nears, Law Professors Urge Against ‘Activist Conservative’ for Chief Judge

Dozens of law professors are raising the alarm over Judge Hector LaSalle’s rulings on ‘crisis pregnancy centers’ and union protections. Hispanic and Latino lawyers’ groups say his appointment would be a win for diversity.

Sam Mellins   ·   December 19, 2022
Here’s Every Bill Hochul Hasn’t Signed

The governor has three weeks and 265 potential laws to consider. New York Focus compiled them all.

New York Focus   ·   December 12, 2022
To Implement a New Law, Prisons Likely Broke Another

Legislators told the prison department it was violating a solitary confinement reform law. So it ignored them.

Chris Gelardi   ·   December 2, 2022
Chief Judge Shortlist Excluded Court’s Sitting Liberals, DiFiore Opponents

Three current Court of Appeals judges applied for the lead position. They are all people of color — and the only judges who regularly dissented from former chief Janet DiFiore’s conservative rulings.

Sam Mellins   ·   December 1, 2022
Chief Judge Shortlist Offers Hochul a Stark Choice

Former Chief Judge Janet DiFiore’s unexpected resignation gave the governor a chance to reshape the Court of Appeals. Her pick will affect New Yorkers’ rights for years to come.

Sam Mellins   ·   November 28, 2022
The State Police Want to Crack Your Phone

The Israeli firm Cellebrite offers tools that unlock data, trawl search histories, and perform facial recognition. The New York State Police are in the market.

Chris Gelardi   ·   November 23, 2022
Bomb Dogs, ‘Goon Squad,’ Subway Cops: Who’s Making a Killing in NYPD Overtime

Eric Adams pledged to cut police overtime in half. Instead, his initiatives helped it soar to the second-highest level on record.

Chris Gelardi   ·   November 16, 2022
Anthony Annucci leaning on a desk
New York’s Prison Chief Ordered Guards to Illegally Shackle People to Desks

Anthony Annucci’s internal memo tells staff to restrain incarcerated people during any out-of-cell time, affecting at least 5,000.

Chris Gelardi   ·   November 7, 2022
New York’s Prison Chief Ordered Guards to Illegally Shackle People to Desks

Anthony Annucci’s internal memo tells staff to restrain incarcerated people during any out-of-cell time, affecting at least 5,000.

Chris Gelardi   ·   November 7, 2022
Blind Spots: Sexual Assault Allegation Exposes Self-Policing Prison System

Robert Adams alleges that a guard sodomized him with a baton. A year-long investigation into his story uncovered a system plagued by retaliation and primed for abuse.

Victoria Law   ·   November 3, 2022
Lesser Infractions Aren’t Supposed to Land You in Solitary Confinement. They Do Anyway.

New York prisons have illegally sent at least 1,100 people to solitary confinement for infractions that aren’t eligible for the punishment, a New York Focus analysis has found.

Chris Gelardi   ·   October 24, 2022
New York May Drop JPay, The Scandal-Plagued Prison Banking Company

A one-year extension could be the prison contractor’s last, ending a 15-year run.

Eli Tan   ·   October 21, 2022
Rikers Staff Tampered With Records, Hiding Intake Rule Violations, Documents Show

Rikers staff repeatedly altered records to extend the clock on a 24-hour time limit for holding people in notorious intake cells.

Chris Gelardi   ·   October 17, 2022
New York Courts Are Ghosting Disabled New Yorkers

When disabled litigants who can’t to come to court in person request virtual appearances, they often don’t hear back.

Sam Mellins   ·   October 13, 2022
Solitary by Another Name: How State Prisons Are Using ‘Therapeutic’ Units to Evade Reforms

A landmark solitary confinement reform law created a new, “rehabilitative” type of isolation unit. In practice, they’re often little different from the solitary units they were meant to replace.

Chris Gelardi   ·   October 5, 2022
Prisons Are Illegally Throwing People With Disabilities Into Solitary Confinement

Lawmakers banned solitary confinement for people with disabilities. But the state prison agency has crafted its own policies.

Chris Gelardi   ·   September 26, 2022
Judge Frees Man From Rikers in Exceptional Decision Citing Bail and Jail Conditions

The ruling, which isn’t binding on other judges but will surely be noted by them, was based on the 2019 bail reform law’s requirement that judges consider defendants’ ability to afford bail.

Sam Mellins   ·   September 21, 2022
State Prisons Are Routinely Violating New York’s Landmark Solitary Confinement Law

Five months after a law to scale back solitary confinement went into effect, a majority of the New York prison system’s solitary population had been held there for longer than the law permits.

Chris Gelardi and Emily Brown   ·   September 12, 2022
Lawmakers, Judge Seek Evidence Behind Prison Package Ban

The prison agency has stonewalled lawmakers’ requests for information justifying the policy.

Rebecca McCray   ·   September 8, 2022
A Prison Used Solitary Confinement to Force a Trans Man to Undergo a Genital Exam, Lawsuit Alleges

Prison officials had already seen his genitals three times. But the superintendent ordered a more invasive exam, the lawsuit alleges. (Note: detailed descriptions.)

Chris Gelardi   ·   August 31, 2022
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