June 12, 2023
Contact: Yonah Zeitz – 347-201-2768 email@example.com,
Follow online: #ShutRikers #CloseRikers #CutShutInvestNY | @katalcenter
Tuesday 6/13, 9:00 am, Foley Square: Ahead of Federal Court Conference, People Impacted by Rikers, with Community Groups and Elected Officials, Demand: Until Rikers is Shut Down, Courts Must Appoint a Receiver
Scandalous Federal Monitor Reports Highlight Deadly Cover-Up by DOC and Moves by Adams Administration to Hide the Crisis Behind Bars from the Public
New York, NY – This Tuesday, June 13, the U.S. District Court in Manhattan will hold an emergency conference where Judge Swain will review several recent federal monitor special reports detailing the deteriorating conditions at the Rikers Island Jail Complex and efforts by the Adams administration to cover up severe incidents of violence in city jails. Ahead of the conference, at 9:00 AM, 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.
WHAT: Rally to Close Rikers & Call for Federal Receiver
WHEN: Tuesday, June 13 at 9:00 a.m. (federal conference starts at 9:30)
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, Elected Officials, Families, and People Directly Impacted by Rikers
WATCH LIVE ON INSTAGRAM: @katalcenter
The recent federal monitor reports highlight how the violence and disorder at Rikers is worse now than when the consent decree was put in place in 2015. The federal monitor outlined how the people incarcerated at Rikers are at an ‘imminent risk of harm’ due to the DOC’s mismanagement, outright lack of care, and the administration’s unwillingness to address the longstanding issues plaguing the city’s jail system.
In the face of this crisis, the Adams administration is taking every possible action to hide the dysfunction and rampant violence taking place in city jails. If Adams has his way, Rikers will get worse, the public will be blocked from knowing what is happening in the city’s jails. Making matters worse, Mayor Adams is calling for more people – mostly Black, brown, and low-income – to be jailed at Rikers as his principle public “safety” goal. If Adams has his way, the notorious jail complex will never close.
The lack of transparency by the Adams administration is widely understood to be deeply troublesome. Last week, Letitia James, the Attorney General of New York, wrote a letter to the DOC demanding transparency around the deaths of incarcerated people at Rikers. And over the last few weeks, calls for the courts to appoint a federal receiver have grown. Last month, Jumaane Wiliams, the NYC Public Advocate, became the latest elected official in NYC to call for a receiver to take over Rikers. Williams joins NYC Comptroller Brad Lander, who called for receivership last year, as well as 10 City Council members and a half dozen state elected officials who have called for a federal receiver. Former NYC corrections and public safety officials also support a receiver, such as Elizabeth Glazer, the former director of the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice. The former commissioner of the NYC Department of Correction under de Blasio, Vincent Schiraldi, supports a federal receiver and has said that it may be “impossible to resolve the chaos and violence of Rikers” without one.
The monitor explained that the state of affairs at Rikers is deeply troubling due to the “regression in the Department’s management of the Nunez Court Orders and its lack of transparency.” This underscores the urgent need for the federal courts to appoint a receiver to take over the notorious Rikers Island jail complex until it is shut down.
Speakers at Tuesday’s action will illustrate how they have been impacted by Rikers, demand a Federal Receiver to take over the island jail, and call on Mayor Adams to shut down Rikers once and for all.