September 15th, 2021
Yonah Zeitz, firstname.lastname@example.org | 347-201-2768
People Formerly Incarcerated at Rikers to Testify at Wednesday’s NY City Council DOC Oversight Hearing
Crisis at Rikers Requires Immediate Action to Decarcerate
New York, NY – On Wednesday, September 15 at 10:00 AM, directly impacted people and community groups to testify at the City Council Committee on Criminal Justice hearing on the current conditions of city jails. Over the last two weeks, the crisis on Rikers has intensified with the 10th incarcerated person passing away on the island this year alone. The jail population is rising as District Attorney’s and Judges needlessly send more people to jail pretrial – partially due to the bail rollbacks – leading to the population on Rikers growing to over 6,000 from below 4,000 at the height of the pandemic. And the Correctional Officer union is waging war with the Department of Correction, conducting a work stoppage that only serves to worsen conditions.
The most severe problem, however, is that Rikers exists at all. The damage caused by Rikers to the people incarcerated there, to their families, and to their communities — is immeasurable and devastating. Given the long history of torture and abuse on Rikers, and the ongoing pandemic, which spotlighted the inhumanity of jails like Rikers, the city must decarcerate and accelerate plans to close the Rikers Island Jail Complex.
Speakers at the hearing will illustrate how they have been impacted by Rikers Island, describe the dehumanizing conditions, and demand that the city close Rikers and that Governor Kathy Hochul sign the #LessIsMoreNY Act. Signing the #LessIsMoreNY Act into law will get hundreds of people off Rikers Island, and help the city get closer to shuttering the complex for good. With over 35,000 people incarcerated in New York and over 5,000 people incarcerated for technical parole violations, urgent action must be taken to decarcerate New York City jails.
WHAT: NYC City Council Committee on Criminal Justice – Rikers Hearing
WHEN: Wednesday, September 15 at 10:00 AM.
WHERE: Virtual. Watch live here: https://legistar.council.nyc.gov/MeetingDetail.aspx?ID=890543&GUID=71B97366-3019-425E-813B-DA5DD20A68F1&Options=info|&Search=
WHO: Community Members, Families, and People Directly Impacted by Rikers and the Parole system.