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Bergen County Jail air conditioning working after Friday night breakdowns: officials

Posted at 2:02 PM, Jul 20, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-20 15:05:19-04

Bergen County Jail in Hackensack, New Jersey (Google Maps)

HACKENSACK, N.J. — While advocacy groups demanded answers Saturday amid reports of broken air conditioning at New Jersey’s Bergen County Jail, the county sheriff said Saturday that air conditioning had been restored after units malfunctioned Friday night.

Sheriff Anthony Cureton said on Facebook Saturday that Friday around 9:30 p.m. administrators at Bergen County Jail were notified that two AC units had malfunctioned.

“Inmates/detainees were moved out of affected areas to a suitable area,” Cureton wrote. “The units were evaluated and the air conditioning was restored soon thereafter,” the sheriff added.

“Random checks are being performed to monitor the jail’s climate,” Sheriff Cureton assured the public.

Earlier Saturday, the Brooklyn Defenders Services, the Bronx Defenders and the Legal Aid Society released a statement demanding answers, saying they had heard reports of AC outages impacting people being held in immigration detention, among others, at the county jail in Hackensack.

“Bergen County Jail has a moral and legal obligation to ensure the safety of all individuals in its custody and their silence on this issue again raises concerns,” the groups said in a joint statement.

“NYIFUP demands immediate answers from jail officials on the scope of air conditioning outages and what exactly the jail is doing to protect our clients and others from heat-related illnesses,” the statement said.

The now-confirmed AC outages are likely the second time in the past month the Bergen County Jail has come under fire for broken air conditioning. The Daily News reported earlier in July of ICE detainees at the jail being impacted by broken air conditioning at the facility.