Central Booking – The Awful Truth!

Central Booking Brooklyn Manhattan by Saul Bienenfeld

Central Booking is the jail cell deep underneath the courthouse at 100 Centre Street in Manhattan.

Everyone arrested in Manhattan is taken to Central Booking – everyone. If you were arrested for failing to pay a traffic ticket, you’re going into the same cell as the guy just arrested for killing his entire family.

The conditions at Central Booking are uncomfortable and unsanitary. It’s overcrowded – 20 to 30 people in one cell. There is no place to sleep and it’s hot. The cell has poor ventilation, there’s garbage scattered about, and it smells. There is no door to the toilet, which is separated from the rest of the cell by a waist-high metal partition. There is no lid on the toilet seat and if you have to go, they give you a few squares of toilet paper. There is no place to wash your hands and no soap. They serve only sandwiches.

Central Booking is also known as the “Tombs.”

Although you are supposed to see the judge within 24 hours, in the Tombs, you have no concept of time. The lights are always on. You don’t know whether it’s day or night. So, you go a little stir crazy and hope that your arraignment happens within 24 hours. Some have been there longer.

Anyone arrested in Brooklyn or Manhattan goes through this process:

  • Arrest
  • Precinct (where you are charged)
  • Central Booking

While you wait, hopefully, you will not need medicine or any type of medical care. Police officers are not allowed to give you medicine, so if you need insulin or something, they will take you to the hospital, which further delays your arraignment.

It’s a horrible procedure. And remember, people who go through this have not been convicted of anything. They could be innocent, yet they are treated like convicted criminals and held in custody for extended periods of time.

Cano v. City of New York

A recent civil case was filed in Brooklyn and heard by Eastern District Judge William Kuntz, II. Nearly two dozen plaintiffs who had been detained at Brooklyn Central Booking claimed they were denied basic human needs and also claimed a violation of their 14th Amendment right to due process. The judge dismissed their case, stating that comfortable prisons are not constitutionally mandatory and no civil rights violations had occurred.

In another case: A woman actually died while in custody. It happened at Brooklyn Central Holding. She begged to go to the hospital and they ignored her. When they finally decided to take her, it was too late. A lawsuit filed by her relatives is pending.

If you’re ever arrested in Manhattan, it helps to have a private criminal defense attorney working in the courthouse while you are waiting to see the judge. If your lawyer is speaking to the police, making sure your fingerprints come back and your paperwork is ready, then you will get arraigned faster than the norm.

Who will you call if you are arrested? Better call Saul at 212-363-7701.

Saul Bienenfeld, Criminal Defense Attorney

Saul Bienenfeld P.C.
450 Seventh Ave.
Suite 1408
New York, NY 10123

About Saul Bienenfeld
Former Assistant District Attorney For The Special Narcotics Bureau, with Over 25 Years Experience As A Successful Criminal Defense Attorney in New York. When you're in trouble, you better call Saul! The Law Offices of Saul Bienenfeld P.C. is dedicated to helping clients receive justice. As your personal law firm, we take the time necessary to fully understand your situation, ensuring that all of your legal needs are met. Your peace of mind is important to us, which is why we are always available to assist you. As a law firm designed specifically for the people, the Law Offices of Saul Bienenfeld P.C. is always ready to help out his fellow New Yorkers. We take each of our cases to heart and work as a team for you.

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