There’s a crisis at Rikers. New York City must #ShutRikers
New Yorkers are deeply concerned about the crisis on Rikers Island. Under Mayor Eric Adams, the conditions at Rikers have gotten worse, and they are life-threatening for human beings—the people incarcerated and those who work there. At least 27 people have died in the city jail system since Adams became mayor in 2022. But the actual number of deaths is unknown, because under Mayor Adams, the Department of Correction (DOC) has stopped reporting deaths to the public.
Violence is rampant. Racism and other types of bias are deeply entrenched. And although Black and Latinx people constitute about 53% of the city’s population, they represent almost 90% of jail admissions.
Rikers has become the city’s largest mental health facility: 50% of those incarcerated there have been diagnosed with a mental health condition but have little or no access to meaningful care while they are locked up.
More than 85% of people on Rikers Island haven’t been convicted: they’re being held in jail pretrial while considered legally innocent because, unlike those who have money, they can’t afford bail. The situation at Rikers has been deteriorating for many, many years.
Rikers is a catastrophe. Rikers must be shut down.
We can fix this. New Yorkers are calling on Mayor Adams to #ShutRikers Now!
The appalling problems at Rikers Island aren’t new – they are all too familiar and dramatically underscore that the city needs alternatives to jail. With an unrelenting crisis at Rikers marked by a rapidly rising death toll, we need urgent action to save lives.
Fact sheets and resources:
To learn more about our push for a federal receiver, check out our receivership fact sheet and the list of supporters for an independent federal receiver at Rikers. To join the supporters list, click here.
January 05, 2018
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