U.S. To Sue New York City Over Civil Rights Violations At Rikers Island


Federal prosecutors plan to sue New York City over widespread civil rights violations in the handling of adolescent inmates at the Rikers Island jail complex, making clear their dissatisfaction with the city's progress in reining in brutality by guards and improving conditions at the jail complex, the New York Times reports. The decision to take the city to court comes more than four months after U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara issued a blistering report that cited a pervasive and “deep-seated culture of violence” directed at teenage inmates at Rikers. The Times says the report “found rampant use of excessive force by correction officers, the overuse of solitary confinement and an ineffectual system of investigating assaults by guards.”

That report proposed more than 10 pages of remedial measures that prosecutors said the city's Correction Department would have to put in place. “While the United States had hoped to reach a speedy resolution with the city on these critical issues,” Bharara said today, “thus far insufficient progress has been made.” In September, Mr. Bharara issued a strongly worded statement after the Times reported that city officials had withheld key portions of a report on violence at Rikers from his office during its investigation, and that officials involved in reporting distorted data had been promoted.

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