Mayor De Blasio, Councilman Steven Levitt, Dr Peter Stout discussed on All Things Considered
Listening to W N Y C. I'm Jamie Floyd. Thousands of homeless New Yorkers have been moved from shelters and into hotels across the city. But now facing pressure from some neighborhoods where those hotels air located, Mayor de Blasio says, the homeless will we moved back to shelters WN Mrs Morello, I've Iraq reports back in April, the mayor said moving homeless people out of crowded dorm style shelters would help control the pandemic. We will use those hotels aggressively as a tool. Within four months, the city relocated the majority of single adults 10,000 people. I some measures. The initiative has worked really well, according to WN Y. C's analysis, just 0.6% of homeless people. Passive positive for Kobe did over the past four weeks lower than the city's general population, but then an uproar in the Upper West Side. It has to do with hotels converted into residents in this bastion of progressive politics, taking it pretty hard line about the scores of homeless people, not in my neighborhood Upper Westside Edition This time unsavory images. Residents in Manhattan began complaining about drug use, lewd behavior and loitering after homeless men were moved into their neighborhoods. And last week, Mayor de Blasio set We're going to start the process of figuring out where we can get homeless individuals back into safe shelter facilities. And reduce the reliance on hotels. Hotels is certainly not where we want to be in general, and we're going to start that process immediately. Councilman Steven Levitt says the administration is being influenced by the backlash. It's not good policy. It's pretty simple to me. The science is dictated by the fact that we have a public health emergency so long as they have a public health emergency. This is the policy that should be in place. So far. The city has given out a few details about the plan, including when it will start Shelter providers were blindsided. Catherine Trapani represents those non profits were now running both their shelters and the hotels. But you don't want to happen is you say OK, original accomplishment and move everybody. Back to a congregant site would move all those protective measures. And then you're in the scenario where people may be a trick again. A group of Upper West Siders says they'll file a lawsuit unless the administration announces an action plan by tomorrow. Homeless advocates say they, too, will sue. If people are moved before it's safe to do so. Marella Iraq WMD I see news. Across New York prison officials have suddenly stopped testing for suspected drugs. Investigative reporter George Joseph has more in an internal memo. Last week, prison superintendents were ordered to stop using drug tests from a North Carolina company called Cerci. Authorities wouldn't say why they suspended the tests, but they did confirm that they're reviewing their procedures. State documents make clear that these tests are for screening, but officials weren't doing follow up tests in the lab to verify the results. And we're using the search. He tests alone to charge prisoners with drug possession. It is troubling. In any circumstance when you see a screening a presumptive test used for a final decision that's Dr Peter Stout. He's a forensic toxicologist in Houston, which had a similar scandal because of the way police were using these kinds of drug tests. They work by inducing a color coded chemical reactions. So they devised these little pouches and things that are useful in the field to add a little bit of drug into it, Shake it up, and it gives you in the field on indication of this, maybe heroin or this, maybe cocaine, he says. Agencies like these kits because they're cheap, fast and easy to use. But they also can produce false positives and can result in discipline such a solitary confinement or the loss of family visits. The prison authority hasn't said how many prisoners may have been disciplined because of search, he test results. Martin Garcia is a community coordinator for the prisoner's advocacy group worth rises. He says authorities should have had a higher scientific standard from the beginning that it being proactive. They're being reactive and you're home. You're harming people. You're harm If he was families, you're harming people that you claim to care about. And you know, responsible for Garcia is a former prisoner himself. He says. The way the prison system used these drug tests lead to mistrust and that your family is looking at you like if he really innocent that he just do this, like he messed up and he doesn't want to admit it. He's not changing Select. Now you have a distrust with your family, the company behind the test. Cerci didn't respond to requests for comment on New York's decision to stop using their products in the prison system. George Joseph W. N. Y C news LGBT.