Leaders of the campaign to close New York’s notorious Rikers Island jail are celebrating the announcement that one of the facility’s nine detention centers will be closed this year. But they said that fundamental justice change requires reform of the money bail system.
The abusive treatment of detainees in the country’s second-largest jail complex has long been the target of civil liberties complaints. But a new report claims that visitors are subject to similar abuse.
Efforts to close facilities like the Rikers Island jail complex in New York won’t work unless authorities find alternative ways to deal with seriously mentally ill individuals who run afoul of the justice system, says New York’s former chief judge.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo says, “The situation is intolerable.” Inmates argue that shutting down the 10-jail complex is the only solution for violence by guards and gang members, mistreatment of the mentally ill and juveniles, and unjustly long detention for minor offenders.
Criminal justice reform has not helped women to the same extent that it has benefited men, says a study from the Prisoner Reentry Institute at John Jay College. Drawing from women’s experience at Rikers Island, the report argues that reform should be trauma-informed and gender-responsive to account for women’s unique needs.
New York City will no longer send youths 21 and under to solitary confinement. A former prison health care provider says it’s time to apply such an approach nationwide–and for professional associations of social workers and psychologists to put their clout behind efforts to toss this “inhumane” practice into the dustbins of history.
Days after NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio touted an “astonishing” turnaround, inmates led two simultaneous attacks on corrections officers. A source tells the New York Daily News the prisoners didn’t like new secure units and wanted to get out.
What can reduce the violence that has plagued New York’s jails—especially at the vast Rikers Island facility? Recent proposals from New York City’s Department of Correction include recommendations for more stringent monitoring of visitors and packages: Visitors will receive background checks to weed out felons and those who might try to smuggle in weapons and other contraband; and all parcels would have to be sent to the jails through a third-party vendor, such as Amazon, in order to decrease the […]
Most of us are familiar with the saying, “What happens in Las Vegas stays in Las Vegas.” A similar sentiment attaches to Rikers Island in New York—the nation's largest jail. The officers there have for long believed that what happens on Rikers stays on Rikers. Recent press reports about abuses of prisoners, the U. S. Attorney's investigation and reports from New York City's Department of Investigation, as well as public hearings have focused attention on the underlying problem in the […]
We may never fully learn what happened when Michael Brown Jr. and Darren Wilson confronted each other on Canfield Drive in Ferguson, Mo. on August 9. But what we do know galvanized the nation. Wilson, 28, an officer with the Ferguson Police Department, was in his patrol car on that hot midsummer afternoon when he stopped 18-year-old Brown and a friend who were walking down the middle of the street. According to Wilson’s testimony to a St. Louis County grand […]