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The Crisis on Rikers Continues– Another Person Dies at Notorious Jail Complex

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Friday, February 6, 2023

Contact:  Yonah Zeitz, yonah@katalcenter.org | (347) 201-2769

Follow on Twitter @KatalCenter | #CutShutInvestNY

The Crisis on Rikers Continues– Another Person Dies at Notorious Jail Complex, the 20th Death in Just Over A Year 

Community Groups Demand Mayor Adams Shut Down the Jail Now Following the Deadliest Year on Record in the Past 25 Years

New York, NY:  On Saturday, news broke that yet another incarcerated person died at the Rikers Island Jail Complex. This is the 20th death of an incarcerated person in City jails since Mayor Adams took office a little over a year. In Mayor Adam’s first year, Rikers had the deadliest year on record in the past 25 years. 

Marvin Pines was incarcerated on Rikers due to an unaffordable bail. Tomorrow, the Senate Finance Committee and Assembly Ways and Means Committee will hold a joint legislative hearing on Public Protection for the 2024 Executive Budget Proposal. The Governor’s proposal to gut bail reform – in the midst of the Rikers crisis – will be a major topic of discussion. 

Statement from Yonah Zeitz, Director of Advocacy of the Katal Center for Equity, Health, and Justice: “This weekend, yet another human being died at Rikers. Marvin Pines, 65 years old. We extend our condolences to the family of Mr. Pines. May he rest in peace. This is the latest in a seemingly endless string of deaths that are horrific as they are now predictable. Rikers is a five-alarm fire, but Mayor Adams has abandoned the plan to close Rikers and instead is working to send even more people to be jailed there. And Mr. Prices’s death comes less than a week after Governor Hochul’s proposal to send even more people to Rikers by changing the bail laws. Instead of pushing forward plans and proposals that would increase jail populations and keep Rikers open, the governor and mayor must work to reduce the reliance on jails and prisons, close Rikers and other deadly jails across New York, and invest in real public safety: housing, health care, education, and jobs.

We call on the state legislature to reject the governor’s baseless proposal to amend the state’s bail laws. Bail reform is working and must not be rolled back anymore. The NY Legislature must pass a budget that prioritizes people’s liberty and freedom, and invests in things that truly keep us safe.”

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