They Punished Thousands Over False Positive Drug Tests

lab testing with vials filled with yellow liquid
Zain Murdock
January 12, 2022

On January 4, 2022, New York State’s Office of the Inspector General released a shocking and searing report: thousands of people in prison were punished based on false positive drug tests!

It’s definitely not “justice” when the “crime” never existed - and the tortures they doled out were absolutely inhumane.

Because of this, our incarcerated community members had their parole hearings delayed, family visits denied, and were even tortured in solitary confinement. 

But the cheap drug tests actually raised suspicion as early as 2019 – the Department of Corrections and Community Supervision simply didn’t bother to double-check!

 “This stands as a heartbreaking example of how the absence of transparency can undermine due process and basic human rights,” said inspector general Lucy Lang. But it’s more than that.

Even if incarcerated people test positive for drugs, don’t you think isolating them from their loved ones would only make the psychological effects of addiction worse? The system is not designed to rehabilitate, but to punish. Still, the dishonesty, too, is an indictment of the system.

From DNA mistakes to false positive drug tests, there are so many Black people incarcerated over lies we cannot even count. How can we trust the criminal legal system to keep us safe and deliver justice if it's not even functioning off of the truth? We can't.

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