FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, June 7, 2023
Contact: Yonah Zeitz, firstname.lastname@example.org | (347) 201-2769
Follow on Twitter @KatalCenter | #ShutRikers #CloseRikers #CutShutInvestNY
Citywide Elected Officials and Community Groups Rally Outside Rikers to Call for Closure of Jail Complex, Demand Federal Court Appoints Receiver to Address the Deadly Conditions Facing Incarcerated People
Statement by Katal Center
New York, NY: Today, Katal and other community groups joined the NYC Public Advocate Jumaane Williams and NYC Comptroller Brad Lander to hold a press conference at the entrance of Rikers to call for federal courts to appoint a receiver to take over the troubled jail complex until it’s shut down. The press conference follows a new alarming report from the Federal Monitor about scandalous incidents in the city jails, and the City’s refusal to share information about what’s happening behind jail walls.
Statement from Melanie Dominguez, Lead Organizer of the Katal Center for Equity, Health, and Justice: “Rikers is a horrific scandal and under Mayor Adams it’s only getting worse. Under Mayor Adams, 22 people have died in city jails. Just last week, the City was blasted by the Federal Monitor and a federal judge for trying to hide information about how an incarcerated person died. Instead of working to shut down this horrific jail complex, Mayor Adams says the City will no longer disclose to the public the deaths of incarcerated people. According to the federal monitor, incarcerated people are in ‘imminent risk of harm’ due to the Department of Correction’s mismanagement, outright lack of care, and the unwillingness to address the longstanding issues plaguing the city’s jail system. What more does the City Council need to hold this mayor accountable? What more do the federal courts need to step in?
“Until Rikers is closed, the federal courts must appoint a receiver to take over and improve conditions for people who are detained or employed there. The federal courts must address the longstanding issues plaguing the jail system. New Yorkers deserve better. Mayor Adams and the Department of Correction are failing our city’s most vulnerable. New York must end the violence and reduce the city’s jail population, shut down Rikers, and invest in true public safety: housing, health care, education, and jobs.”