Federal judge puts halt on lawsuit against Federal Bureau of Prisons

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SUNSET PARK -

A federal judge ordered a halt on a lawsuit involving the conditions at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Sunset Park Friday.

As previously reported in early February, lawyers representing inmates of the Metropolitan Detention Center sued the Federal Bureau of Prisons after inmates and workers testified to having to face freezing temperatures inside the prison for days.

Many staff members and witness testified to long-standing issues of no heat and hot water, even inadequate food supply. Others described no access to medication and mental health services.

Besorene Kingsley, the mother of an inmate there, called it a “human rights violation.”

Lawyers tell News 12 that they brought on the lawsuit so that the inmates would not face retaliation, something they say several inmates are already facing as a result of speaking up in court and to news agencies about the conditions inside the facility.

RELATED: Lawyers for MDC inmates file lawsuit against Federal Bureau of Prisons

They say some have even been put in solitary confinement.

“This situation has gone on for a long time at MDC,” says Deirdre Von Dorum, of Federal Defenders. “Ordinarily there’s no transparency and there’s no way to visit without a warden’s permission, so there’s no way to see what’s happening.”

After this judge's ruling, lawyers say they are going to consider other ways to continue in the fight against the conditions of the MDC.

Attorneys representing Federal Defenders say they are going to consider filing an amended complaint that addresses the judge's concerns but continues to hold the Bureau of Prisons accountable.

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