46 Green Haven prisoners file lawsuits against NYS alleging abuse and ‘torture’ during lockdown searches 

The allegations are outlined in three lawsuits, involving 46 men, filed Jan 2. in the New York State Court of Claims.

Blaise Gomez

Jan 16, 2024, 9:18 PM

Updated 189 days ago

Share:

Almost four dozen incarcerated men at Green Haven Correctional Facility have filed multimillion-dollar lawsuits against New York state, claiming they were abused and “tortured” by guards during a lockdown last October.          
The prisoners allege they were physically and psychologically abused by members of the New York state Corrections Emergency Response Team (CERT) and other state agents during a state-ordered facility search of the Dutchess County prison Oct. 4 through Oct. 11, 2023.
“Their genitals were kicked, a locker slammed against their head, their eyes gouged, marks left around their wrists from flexy cuffs,” says attorney Danielle Muscatello.
The allegations are outlined in three lawsuits, involving 46 men, filed Jan 2. in the New York State Court of Claims. According to the court documents, the men were subjected to “gang assaults” that were “degrading, outrageous and sadistic.”
“The most egregious part of this is the systemic nature of these attacks on defenseless inmates,” says attorney Bruce Barket. “It was organized and, in our view, approved by the highest-ranking members of the department of corrections.”
The lawsuit alleges the tactical-style team of specialized officers were seen by prisoners at the time of the assaults marching in cadence throughout the prison and heard chanting, “Whose house? Our house."
In some cases, the incarcerated individuals allege their clothes were removed and they were pepper-sprayed in the mouth while beaten. Others claim they were paraded through the facility while handcuffed after an assault. In two cases, men were allegedly water boarded with dirty rags.
The Department of Corrections and Community Supervision denies the allegations in two of the lawsuits brought against the state in separate cases involving incarcerated individuals Charles Wright and Eugene Taylor.
“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,” said a state representative.
DOCCS says it can’t comment on the third lawsuit, filed by 44 prisoners, due to the pending litigation.
According to the lawsuits, many of the prisoners were denied medical care after the attacks and falsely accused of violence against officers. In some cases, incarcerated individuals were allegedly put in the facility’s Specialized Housing Unit (SHU) or transferred to Great Meadow Correctional Facility in Washington County, where the abuse allegedly continued.
As News 12 reported, Green Haven was put into lockdown for several days after state officials said two guards and several incarcerated men were attacked in several incidents, one involving an inmate with a weapon. DOCCS said that 76 weapons were found during the searches, along with suspected narcotics and homemade alcohol.  
“We want prison to be safe, but you can’t do it through violence and intimidation and threats of violence,” says Barket.
Many of the prisoners involved in the litigation remain incarcerated. The lawsuits are seeking a combined total of $62 million in damages.  
Their attorneys say the men suffered a range in physical injuries because of the alleged attacks, including nerve and tissue damage and broken bones. 


More from News 12
1:38
Police: Man arrested for slashing woman during domestic dispute in Yonkers

Police: Man arrested for slashing woman during domestic dispute in Yonkers

2:18
Warm and humid with possible showers today, nicer weather coming in 48 hours!

Warm and humid with possible showers today, nicer weather coming in 48 hours!

1:47
'I don't know what the answer is.' Newburgh residents may have to live with dangerous intersection indefinitely

'I don't know what the answer is.' Newburgh residents may have to live with dangerous intersection indefinitely

1:22
How are young Hudson Valley voters feeling about the possibility of Kamala Harris as the Democratic nominee for president?

How are young Hudson Valley voters feeling about the possibility of Kamala Harris as the Democratic nominee for president?

2:24
Tackling flooding in the Town of Mamaroneck, engineering consultant looks into options

Tackling flooding in the Town of Mamaroneck, engineering consultant looks into options

1:29
Oklahoma woman sentenced to 4-12 years for fatal drunk-driving crash in Newburgh

Oklahoma woman sentenced to 4-12 years for fatal drunk-driving crash in Newburgh

1:48
A look back at President Biden, VP Harris' visits to the Hudson Valley

A look back at President Biden, VP Harris' visits to the Hudson Valley

0:48
Made in the Hudson Valley: 'Mister Croissant' bakery brings world-class pastries to Middletown

Made in the Hudson Valley: 'Mister Croissant' bakery brings world-class pastries to Middletown

0:43
Secret Service director steps down after assassination attempt against ex-President Trump at rally

Secret Service director steps down after assassination attempt against ex-President Trump at rally

0:28
Orange County man fatally struck in hit-and-run crash in the Bronx; man charged

Orange County man fatally struck in hit-and-run crash in the Bronx; man charged

0:21
$17 million awarded to repair Callicoon Bridge in Sullivan County

$17 million awarded to repair Callicoon Bridge in Sullivan County

0:27
New York, New Jersey & Delaware sued for failing to protect endangered Atlantic sturgeon

New York, New Jersey & Delaware sued for failing to protect endangered Atlantic sturgeon

1:02
Headlines: New Rochelle stabbing, home burglary, New Rochelle man pleads guilty in Bronx shooting

Headlines: New Rochelle stabbing, home burglary, New Rochelle man pleads guilty in Bronx shooting

Special election in Yorktown will fill vacant Town Council seat

Special election in Yorktown will fill vacant Town Council seat

0:54
Jayne Street Bridge in Orange County gets $1.35M boost for restoration

Jayne Street Bridge in Orange County gets $1.35M boost for restoration

2:27
Made in the Hudson Valley: Hudson Beach Glass gives visitors the chance to become glassblowers themselves

Made in the Hudson Valley: Hudson Beach Glass gives visitors the chance to become glassblowers themselves

0:21
Eastchester police mourn loss of former officer Alex Bonci

Eastchester police mourn loss of former officer Alex Bonci

2:09
Hudson Valley congressman backs Vice President Kamala Harris for new presidential nominee

Hudson Valley congressman backs Vice President Kamala Harris for new presidential nominee

1:19
Bullet pierces through home in Middletown, police search for shooter

Bullet pierces through home in Middletown, police search for shooter

AP survey: Harris has enough delegate support to become the Democratic Party nominee

AP survey: Harris has enough delegate support to become the Democratic Party nominee