NEW HAVEN, CT (WFSB) – An attorney has raised an issue over conditions inside the New Haven Police Department’s lock-up.
The attorney raised the concerns after spending time in there himself and talking with detainees.
New Haven’s police chief says it’s not the Hilton, but stresses the conditions are not inhumane either.
The basement lock-up inside New Haven’s Police Department is clean and bright, and apparently for some being detained there, those lights are too bright if you’re trying to sleep.
“It could be a safety issue for us. Right now, we don’t have the ability to dim these lights,” said Lt. Nick Marcucio, New Haven Police Department.
Lieutenant Nick Marcucio, who’s in charge of the department detention facility, gave Eyewitness News a tour after an attorney and Yale Law School graduate recently described the conditions at inhumane to the police commission.
Kevin Kennan got arrested during the Yale-Harvard game protest back in November. While he only spent a few hours in lock-up, he used that time talking to two men who were being detained for the weekend before they could be brought to court.
Kennan told Eyewitness News, it’s disturbing that New Haven makes those arrested sleep on metal beds with no mattress, along with no blankets, and the lights staying on.
“Years ago, when marshals were running it, they used to have mattresses and that’s exactly what happened. They had a bed bug infestation, shut down the whole facility,” Lt. Marucio said.
Kennan says he’s talked with police officials and says they told him they’ll look into rubber mattresses.
The department says when it took over from the state marshals in the summer of 2016, it painted and cleaned the entire lock-up and does its best to keep it that way with the daily turnover.
Those locked up are fed three times a day and provided phone calls.
There are no reading materials since the pages can be used to clog toilets, and with bars on the jail cells, they don’t provide sheets or blankets over the concern arrestees could try to harm themselves.
“I welcome people to come down here and see the facility, because I don’t think people understand the set-up we have. Unfortunately, it’s an older facility, and we have made the improvements that we’ve been able to do,” Lt. Marcucio said.
Plans are already being made to give elected officials and community leaders a walk through of the facility sometime in March.