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Federal inmates awaiting trial in New York have refused meals after being denied visits with their families and lawyers due to staffing shortages worsened by the partial government shutdown, defense attorneys said Tuesday.
David Patton, the head of the federal defender office in New York, said a hunger strike had occurred on at least one unit of the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan, a facility that houses some 800 detainees. But it was not clear when the hunger strike began or if it was ongoing.
Government - People - Manner - Access - Attorneys
'If the government is going to prosecute and detain people, they need to do it in a constitutional manner and that includes access to attorneys and sufficient medical care,' Patton said. 'Right now that's not happening.'
The U.S. Bureau of Prisons said in an email Tuesday that it had 'suspended' visitation at a facility but that it has 'since resumed'.
Agency - Hunger - Strike - Metropolitan - Correctional
The agency did not comment on a hunger strike at the Metropolitan Correctional Center, which was reported Monday by The New York Times, but said a strike was not occurring at the federal Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn.
It said visitation had been curtailed at the Brooklyn lockup due to 'problems with the elevators.'
Publication - Week - Facility - Detainees - Bureau
However the publication had reported that this week at the facility which holds 1,600 detainees Bureau of Prisons lawyer, Adam Johnson, emailed defense lawyers stating it was 'due to staff shortages'.
The Brooklyn jail had shutdown visits for several hours or entirely during seven days of January, according to an email from Federal Defenders of New York to federal chief judges in Manhattan and Brooklyn.
Times - Monday - Visits - Week - Manhattan
The Times said Monday that visits had been cancelled for a second week at the Manhattan facility where white collar inmates have been held including drug lord El Chapo.
'They have already refused a meal — I believe they refused...
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