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Rally against Rikers Island comes after scathing report from Office of the Monitor

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By: News 12 Staff via News12 Brooklyn

An emergency hearing was held in U.S. District Court following a report from the Office of the Monitor detailing the increasing issues taking place on Rikers Island.  

Dozens of activists rallied in Foley Square against the current conditions within the jail facility on Tuesday in response to the report that detailed daily violence suffered by both inmates and staff, with some former inmates detailing their experiences.  

“[The] violence you experience there is horrible,” said one former inmate. “You always have to be on guard and defend yourself against people who want to attack you.” 

The report revealed a lack of information by the Department of Correction in reporting severe injuries and deaths at Rikers Island on top of the continued violent incidents. In the wake of these recent findings, advocates are calling on a federal receiver to come to Rikers Island and oversee the facility.  

The rally took place outside, but the emergency hearing was held in U.S. District Court, highlighting five separate violent incidents that the Office of the Monitor claims were not reported.  

“They made an announcement that they would no longer be announcing the deaths of those behind bars that goes to show you the cover up and lack of transparency this administration is Pushing forward,” said Melanie Dominguez, member of the Katal Center for Equity, Health and Justice.  

Representatives for the city say that only one of those five incidents went unreported and insisted that slashing and stabbings have dropped significantly at Rikers Island.  

A U.S. District Court judge instructed those in favor of a federal receiver on Rikers Island to file a motion by August 3.  

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