Assembly Members Khaleel M. Anderson and Harvey Epstein Make Unannounced Visit to Green Haven Correctional Facility, Prioritize Safety Amid Rising COVID-19 Rates

Dutchess County, New York Assembly Members Khaleel M. Anderson and Harvey Epstein visited Green Haven Correctional Facility unannounced this past Monday to discuss the living conditions of staff and incarcerated people and monitor the adherence to COVID-19 protocols necessary to reduce alarming rates of COVID-19 infection in prisons. The legislators exercised their statutory right to make unannounced visits to correctional facilities run by the state. 

The Assembly Members witnessed poor structural conditions at Green Haven, its COVID-19 infection at high rates similar to the rising rates of COVID-19 among incarcerated people throughout New York State. Both Assembly Members are dedicated to criminal justice reform, having signed on to the HALT Solitary package of bills introduced with the aim to ending the practice of solitary confinement and providing meaningful opportunities for release to elderly incarcerated people.

"Since the start of the pandemic we've seen alarming rates of people in prisons testing positive for COVID-19. In many cases, prisons and jails have become the hot spot of this virus. Our State should prioritize the safety of people incarcerated, many of whom have compromised immune systems, mental health needs, and are jailed in unsafe conditions to begin with. I'm proud to exercise my statutory right to visit Green Haven Correctional Facility with Assembly Member Anderson and shed light on the horrendous conditions our neighbors are facing. I hope that this visit calls for some urgency to a horrific condition that should have been addressed months ago," said Assembly Member Epstein.

“Far too often, our incarcerated neighbors are condemned, ignored, and forgotten about in the dark. This was true way before COVID-19, and now with the pandemic spreading behind bars, we must fight even harder to ensure that negligence does not persist. I am grateful for the opportunity to visit the Green Haven Correctional Facility here in Stormville, New York alongside Assembly Member Epstein. Criminal Justice reform and rehabilitation is a key focus of my office, and Assembly Member Epstein and I have a duty to bring to light any potential practices at the facility that go against the human rights and dignity of the incarcerated members of our community,” said Assembly Member Anderson.