Watchdog: Feds bungled response as NYC jail inmates shivered

WASHINGTON (AP) — A report from the Justice Department’s internal watchdog says the federal government badly botched its response to a weeklong power failure amid a cold snap at a federal detention center in New York City last winter, fueling rumors and sparking unrest among shivering inmates.

The Justice Department Inspector General’s report issued Wednesday said the U.S. Bureau of Prisons mismanaged “critical aspects” of the crisis at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn.

They included communication failures that left inmates, lawyers and the public in the dark for days on the problems plaguing the facility.

The report also criticized the agency for halting legal and social visits without a backup plan, a move that inmate advocates said violated their constitutional rights.

The Bureau of Prisons said it would take steps outlined in the report to improve conditions at the jail and its crisis response.

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