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Activists rally at Erie County Holding Center, saying some inmates have been without hot water

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Posted at 11:16 PM, Nov 14, 2021

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — On Sunday evening, a group of activists gathered outside the Erie County Holding Center to fight for those being held in Echo Dorm.

“If we don’t say anything about those in the cells, they will get left behind,” community advocate Shaimaa Aakil said.

“We’ve been hearing reports of the hot water being out for some time,” Muslim chaplain at Erie County jails Myles Carter said.

Carter organized the rally, and he said a letter was signed by ten inmates who said they’ve been without hot water for months.

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“Hot water is one of the most basic needs and rights that every human deserves,” Aakil said.

The letter was sent to the Erie County jail oversight committee and a complaint was filed on October 25. Carter said the complaint has since been closed, concluding that there is at least one failing boiler, that can cost upwards of $100,000 to replace. Activists said they want to see a change.

“This type of treatment is disgusting,” Aakil said.

“I call it a sick building; it is not a good result.” Vicki Ross from the WNY Peace Center said. “It can actually be about helping people to correct their lives.”

Carter said the county said they would change the boiler if it’s added to the budget. A budget hearing is scheduled for Monday at 6 PM. We reached out to the Erie County Sheriff’s department but have not heard back yet.