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NYCLU Launches Campaign Inspired by Hit Series

Thursday, June 12, 2014

The New York Civil Liberties Union has launched a campaign to draw attention to alleged conditions in prisons in Suffolk County, Long Island.

The NYCLU's Jen Carnig said it was inspired by the hit show Orange is the New Black — which she says does a good job of highlighting the humanity of prisoners, and what she calls the inhumanity of some of the conditions they're forced to endure while incarcerated.

"Prisoner after prisoner has reported to us horror stories, just really Dickensian tales of raw sewage bubbling up from the floor, toilets exploding, rodents and roaches infecting everything," she said.

A 2012 federal class action lawsuit by the NYCLU and a law firm against the Riverhead Correctional Facility demands that Suffolk County address problems at Riverhead and the neighboring Yaphank Correctional Facility.

The Suffolk County Sheriff's Office has not responded to WNYC's request for comment.

The NYCLU campaign asks supports to tweet or Instagram photos of themselves wearing orange, with the hashtag #humanityisthenewblack.

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