BINGHAMTON, NY – A group calling itself Tier Social Justice Advocates are calling on Governor Cuomo to address inmates deaths at the Broome County Jail.
The rally, put together by JUST, featured speakers who have lost family members in the jail and people who say they have experienced the jail’s brutality directly.
JUST wants Sheriff Dave Harder removed, the jail to terminate CBH Medical’s contract and the state to launch an independent, public investigation of their allegations of medical and physical abuses within the Broome County Jail.
Activists also believe there is unequal treatment happening based on race, gender and disability.
Latoya Melendez lost her mother last year after she was pulled over with a small amount of marijuana on her and sent to jail.
Melendez believes her mother would still be alive if corrections officers would have allowed her to get treatment when she asked for it.
“It’s easier to criminalize and punish us rather than treat those that are struggling as a person that needs equitable access to health care and treatment,” says Melendez.
JUST also says that the death toll in Broome County Jail has just reached 25 over the past several years.
Sheriff Harder is out of town and unavailable for comment.
However, he has said previously that protestors don’t know what they’re talking about and are making up stories.
He has also said that the jail was not at fault in any of the deaths and that the inmates died of natural causes.