April 27, 2023
Contact: Yonah Zeitz – 347-201-2768 firstname.lastname@example.org,
Follow online: #CutShutInvestNY #CloseRikers | @katalcenter
New Federal Monitor Reports Growing Scandal at Rikers; Jails “Plagued By Extremely High Level of Disorder”
Thursday 4/27, 1:00 pm, Foley Square: Ahead Federal Court Hearing, People Impacted by Rikers, with Community Groups and Elected Officials, Rally to Demand Jails be Shut Down
New York, NY – This Thursday, April 27, the U.S. District Court in Manhattan will hold a hearing where Judge Swain will review the latest federal monitor report about the conditions at the Rikers Island Jail Complex. Before the hearing, at 1:00 PM, at Foley Square, people directly impacted by Rikers, along with community groups and elected officials, will gather to support a federal takeover of the jails and to demand Mayor Adams shut down the notorious facility once and for all.
The recent report highlights how the abuse, disorder, and utter mismanagement of the Department of Correction (DOC) is worse now than when the consent decree was put in place in 2015. The monitor writes of multiple chaotic, violent incidents which “alarm” the monitoring team, but which “have not received meaningful action” from the DOC. The monitor also faults Commissioner Molina for ignoring the federal monitor’s concerns around disciplinary investigations “for two months” and then providing “a two-page written response that was, at best, superficial and otherwise inadequate given the gravity of the issues under discussion.” In an addendum to the monitor’s report, Federal prosecutors from the Southern District wrote: “The jails continue to be plagued by an extremely high level of violence and disorder. Incarcerated people and corrections staff continue to face an imminent risk of harm on a daily basis.” These new reports underscore the urgent need for federal takeover of the notorious Rikers jails complex until the jail is shut down.
In the face of this crisis, Mayor Adams is calling for more people – mostly Black, brown, and low-income – to be jailed at Rikers as his principle public “safety” goal. At the state level, Gov. Hochul is simultaneously trying to ram through rollbacks to bail and discovery reform that will lead to thousands of more people jailed across the state, including at Rikers. If Adams and Hochul have their way, Rikers will get worse and never close.
Speakers at Thursday’s action will illustrate how they have been impacted by Rikers, demand a Federal Receiver to take over at the island jail, and to call on Mayor Adams to shut down Rikers once and for all.
WHAT: Rally to Close Rikers Now
WHEN: Thursday, April 27 at 1:00 p.m. (federal hearing starts at 2:00)
WHERE: Foley Square (Lafayette Street Worth Street, Centre St, New York, NY 10013) then march to the federal courthouse (500 Pearl St.)
WHO: Community Members, Faith Groups, Elected Officials, Families, and People Directly Impacted by Rikers
WATCH LIVE ON INSTAGRAM: @katalcenter