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Elected officials, community groups call for federal takeover of Rikers Island

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By: News 12 Staff via News12 The Bronx

Elected officials and community groups rallied outside U.S. District Court of Manhattan Thursday pushing for the federal government to take over Rikers Island.

The rally happened as a judge heard statements regarding the latest federal monitor report on the correctional facility.

Supporters said although it’s not the permanent solution, federal receivership is a good common ground in the interim of completely closing Rikers.

Henry Robinson was previously incarcerated at Rikers and believes involving the federal government will put the jail in better hands.

“The feds is more professional in how they handle their occupants. This is the truth, so I’ve been in the state, and I’ve been in the feds and I know that the feds handle you a little bit better,” Robinson said.

Council Member Crystal Hudson stood along with the demonstrators. She said federal receivership is what is needed to fix what she calls an “inhumane” complex.

“We need the federal government to take over Rikers. Rikers is torturous, it’s inhumane, this administration has shown that it’s incapable of controlling the circumstances and situation at Rikers Island,” Hudson said.

Highlights of the latest federal monitor report include recommendations to add improvements to security practices at the jail, additional training for emergency services unit staff, and support for supervisors at the facility. Rikers is slated to close by 2027.

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