CRIME

Governor probing racial bias in NY prisons after Times story

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo  (AP)

New York's governor has launched an investigation into racial bias in the state prison system following an investigation by The New York Times.

The newspaper reports that black prisoners were punished at higher rates and subjected to solitary confinement more often than white inmates.

Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Tuesday that he has directed the state inspector general to look into the allegations and recommend immediate changes if necessary.

The Times' report looked at nearly 60,000 disciplinary cases from last year and found that black inmates at one upstate prison were four times more likely than white prisoners to be sent to isolation. The paper also found that blacks were held in solitary confinement for longer periods than their white counterparts.

Cuomo calls The Times' report "disturbing."