New York State Prisons will be under lockdown on Monday, April 8, 2024, the day of the total eclipse. Family, friends, attorneys, and other visitors will not be allowed.

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New York State Prisons Will On Lockdown

The NYS Department of Corrections and Community Supervision has issued an announcement that 23 facilities will be closed to visitors on April 8. DOCCS Acting Commissioner Daniel Martuscello III issued a memo on March 11 saying that it would take a "proactive approach to ensure the safety of staff, visitors, and the incarcerated population, and to ensure the integrity of our facilities during this event." DOCCS plans to do that by locking down all incarcerated individuals, even those not in the path of the eclipse. The lockdown will take place before, during, and after the eclipse.

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On its Facebook page, DOCCS specified that prisoners at 23 facilities will not have visitation on April 8. All others will end visitation at 2 pm. Family Reunion Program units at prisons outside of the path of totality will be closed by noon. From 2 pm to 5 pm, all inmates will be locked in their housing units.

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According to Hell Gate, one prisoner will be able to watch the eclipse after requesting special permission. Jeremy Zielinski said the eclipse is special to him because of his beliefs, or lack thereof,

"Zielinski argued that the eclipse has special significance to atheists like himself, whose beliefs are grounded in a devotion to scientific discovery and achievement."

His request was approved on March 5.

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