NY: Refuse DNA Test, Get Solitary


Wednesday, September 13th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6


ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — State inmates who refuse to give blood for DNA sampling now face solitary confinement.

The new rule grew out of a 1999 law expanding the number of felons required to provide a sample for a state DNA database. The database is used to link convicts to past and future crimes.

DNA samples have been taken from about 26,000 of the 70,000 convicts in state prisons, Department of Correctional Services spokesman James Flateau told said.

Two inmates have resisted. ``We held them down and we took it,'' Flateau said.

Inmates in solitary confinement, known as ``the box,'' are locked in small cells for virtually the entire day.

Prisoners Legal Services Director Thomas Terrizzi said he believes solitary confinement is already overused.

Since 1994, New York has required samples from people convicted of the most violent felonies, like murder, rape and assault. Last year's law added people convicted of gang assault, attempted murder, sodomy, witness intimidation or criminal use of a firearm.

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On the Net:

New York State Department of Correctional Services: http://www.docs.state.ny.us