BREAKING NEWS

Special coverage following gunfire at former President Trump's Pennsylvania rally. LIVE now on News 12.

​Sullivan County inmates sue over solar eclipse lockdown

Some inmates in Sullivan County have filed a lawsuit because they won't be able to see the solar eclipse on April 8.

Bianca Rosembert

Apr 3, 2024, 2:13 AM

Updated 101 days ago

Share:

Some inmates in Sullivan County have filed a lawsuit because they won't be able to see the solar eclipse on April 8.
Six inmates at Woodbourne Correctional Facility are suing the Department of Corrections and Community Supervision for violation of religious freedom.
The men suing are of various faiths, including a Baptist, a Muslim, a Seventh-Day Adventist and two practitioners of Santeria, as well as an atheist.
The celestial event, which was last visible in the U.S. in 2017 and won’t be seen in the country again until 2044, “warrant gathering, celebration, worship, and prayer,” the complaint reads.
Daniel Martuscello III, the department’s acting commissioner, issued a memo March 11 announcing that all state correctional facilities will operate on a holiday schedule next Monday.
That means incarcerated individuals will remain in their housing units except for emergency situations from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., which are generally the normal hours for outdoor recreation in prisons, according to the lawsuit.
There will also be no visitation at nearly two dozen prisons in the path of totality, while visitation at other correctional facilities will end at 2 p.m.
In a statement released to News 12, the Department of Corrections said it part, "the Department has taken a proactive approach to ensure the safety of New York State's incarcerated population and releases as well as DOCCS staff."
Four of the plaintiffs asked for permission to see the solar eclipse but were denied by officials who ruled the solar eclipse is not listed as a holy day for their religions, the lawsuit states. The sixth inmate said he never received a response.
The Department of Corrections said it doesn’t comment on pending litigation but takes all requests for religious accommodations under consideration. Requests related to viewing the eclipse are currently under review.


More from News 12
2:00
Former President Trump safe, doing OK after gunfire at rally

Former President Trump safe, doing OK after gunfire at rally

2:01
Sunny, hot and humid Sunday in the Hudson Valley

Sunny, hot and humid Sunday in the Hudson Valley

0:24
New Rochelle PD: 1 dead in fiery car crash at Golden Horseshoe Shopping Center

New Rochelle PD: 1 dead in fiery car crash at Golden Horseshoe Shopping Center

1:54
Overnight fire closes Delite Bake Shop in Yonkers

Overnight fire closes Delite Bake Shop in Yonkers

2:23
‘New York’s backyard jam.’ Music lovers flock to Pleasantville Music Festival

‘New York’s backyard jam.’ Music lovers flock to Pleasantville Music Festival

1:55
NYPD: 3-year-old fatally struck in Harlem was from New Rochelle

NYPD: 3-year-old fatally struck in Harlem was from New Rochelle

0:30
Wake services held for Port Chester police officer killed in an off-duty motorbike crash

Wake services held for Port Chester police officer killed in an off-duty motorbike crash

0:25
Police: Newburgh man faces prison time for menacing Maybrook residents with gun

Police: Newburgh man faces prison time for menacing Maybrook residents with gun

0:35
NY Office of Cannabis Management issues recall for ‘Sky High’ brand marijuana products

NY Office of Cannabis Management issues recall for ‘Sky High’ brand marijuana products

1:49
2 'underperforming' Stop & Shop stores in Hudson Valley set to close

2 'underperforming' Stop & Shop stores in Hudson Valley set to close

0:34
Testimony ends in Westchester nonprofit's lawsuit filed against Lyft over wheelchair access

Testimony ends in Westchester nonprofit's lawsuit filed against Lyft over wheelchair access

0:57
Nearly $5 million to go toward clean water efforts, police departments in Westchester

Nearly $5 million to go toward clean water efforts, police departments in Westchester

2:10
How to spot scams, fake listings on Amazon Prime Day 2024

How to spot scams, fake listings on Amazon Prime Day 2024

0:26
Police: Bronx man charged in Carmel domestic disturbance

Police: Bronx man charged in Carmel domestic disturbance

1:40
Lawmakers try to force action from state as more beaches close due to bacteria levels

Lawmakers try to force action from state as more beaches close due to bacteria levels

1:03
‘Like a bee colony.’ Crews work to finish preparations for Pleasantville Music Festival

‘Like a bee colony.’ Crews work to finish preparations for Pleasantville Music Festival

1:32
Owners of decades-old restaurant in Rockland County explain reasons for closure

Owners of decades-old restaurant in Rockland County explain reasons for closure

0:57
Congers Fire Department Carnival returns for first time since COVID

Congers Fire Department Carnival returns for first time since COVID

0:24
Rockland County officials warn of contractor scams targeting homeowners

Rockland County officials warn of contractor scams targeting homeowners

0:24
Ulster County offers refunds to season pass holders following pool closure

Ulster County offers refunds to season pass holders following pool closure