New York’s county jails are notoriously secretive. Each sheriff makes their own rules, and it’s up to an obscure, understaffed state commission to make sure they follow state law. In 2023, New York Focus obtained hundreds of pages of records on New York’s county jails, outlining policies, violations, failed enforcement, and how the system puts thousands of people’s lives at risk. The result was this first-of-its-kind investigation into county jails throughout the state.
The State Commission of Correction has been stumbling for decades — with millions of incarcerated people caught in the lurch.
The state council that reviews grievances spent an average of eight seconds on each case in its last meeting — and rejected nearly all of them.
New York imposes strict regulations on “segregated confinement.” What if it’s just called “confinement”?
A surprise plan to shutter a jail in Syracuse’s Onondaga County spurred a chaotic political skirmish — and left local incarcerated people in the lurch.
New York Focus has published thousands of pages of county jail oversight records. Browse them in our database.