Green Haven Correctional Facility is a maximum security prison located locally in Stormville, New York and in the last year, the facility has been a hotspot for some less-than-savory headline-worthy news. Some of these instances included assaults that took place in the facility, drug busts, and last October, the facility was placed on lockdown following what was called "24 hours of violence".

multicultural prisoners standing near prison bars in prison cell
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In those 24 hours, numerous instances of violence occurred between the inmates against each other and officers. The lockdown and investigation of the entire situation would take days to complete. You may read our coverage of that lockdown event at the facility here. (Day of Violence: Hudson Valley Prison Placed on Lockdown)

Well, it now appears that there may be some ramifications from this very same "day of violence" as multiple inmates from Green Haven Correctional Facility have filed lawsuits against New York State for alleged treatment at the hands of the facility guards.

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Green Haven Inmates Lawsuits, Claims and Accusations

In total nearly four dozen (46) Green Haven inmates have filed multi-million dollar lawsuits against the state of New York.

In the lawsuits, it is claimed by the inmates that the guards of the facility "abused and tortured" them during the October lockdown at the facility.

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According to News 12: New York, the inmates allege that the abuse came in both the physical and psychological form at the hands of the New York State Corrections Emergency Response Team (CERT) as well as other agents during the state-ordered search of the facility which took place between October 4 and October 11, 2023.

Attorney Danielle Muscatello of Barket Epstein Kearon Aldea & LoTurco, LLP, who filed the lawsuit on behalf of the inmates, detailed in the News 12 report some of the specific claims and accusations made against the corrections officers. These claims and accusations would include everything from being "kicked in the genitals, pepper-sprayed in the mouth and beaten...". Inmates also claimed they denied medical treatment in addition to numerous other forms of abuse.

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Matias Nieto/Getty Images
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Inmates also allege that the abusive treatment appeared in the form of being sent to "Specialized Housing Units (SHU's)" which function as a means to keep certain inmates away from the general population.

Prison Transfer and Continued Punishment

In the aftermath of the lockdown and facility search in October, some inmates were transferred from Green Haven Correctional Facility to Great Meadow Correctional Facility, another maximum security facility in Comstock, New York, roughly 200 miles north of New York City. It is alleged that following the transfer, the abuse and torture continued at the new facility.

Human hands with handcuff in prison, unfreedom concept.
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The arguably most shocking claims by inmates were detailed in the News 12 report as well as a report from the New York Times. Two individual inmates filed their own separate lawsuits with their own specific claims and those inmates were identified as Charles Wright and Eugene Taylor. Wright and Taylor currently are serving time in prison for crimes of second-degree murder, but it is alleged in their respective lawsuits that guards at the facilities "waterboarded them with dirty rags".

The Legal Process

These lawsuits have all only been filed recently, so it must be kept in mind that this is all in the very early stages of litigation. These claims and allegations as of right now are just that, claims and allegations.

Photo by Tingey Injury Law Firm on Unsplash
Photo by Tingey Injury Law Firm on Unsplash
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WPDH reached out for comment regarding these allegations and lawsuits and the following was the response from the DOCCS...

The Department cannot comment on pending litigation, however, can say that DOCCS investigates all complaints and allegations of misconduct by staff. Prior to the filing of the two lawsuits, DOCCS was aware of the complaints concerning these two individuals. Based on our records at this time, the allegations are untrue.

In total, the three lawsuits for Charles Wright, Eugene Taylor and the other 44 prisoners against the State of New York are seeking $62 million dollars in damages. WPDH will continue to cover this case if or when new information becomes available.

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