Tag: Rikers Island Prison Complex

‘We Finally Have Something to Celebrate’: The Infrastructure Bill Is Signed

To the Editor: Re “Biden Signs Bill for Bolstering Infrastructure” (front page, Nov. 16): At a time when all of the news that we absorb seems to be bad, we finally have something to celebrate, the signing into law of the $1 trillion infrastructure bill, a long overdue initiative that despite consistent promises was never […]

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On Rikers Island, A Doctor for Older Detainees

Five years ago, Dr. Rachael Bedard was finishing a fellowship in geriatrics and palliative care at a hospital in Manhattan when she began to wonder if there were elderly detainees in need of care just across the East River, at Rikers Island. Dr. Bedard wrote to the chief of medicine for the city’s jail system […]

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How to Alleviate the Crisis at Rikers

Fourteen people incarcerated in the New York City jail system have died since December 2020, at least six apparently by suicide. Overflowing toilets and mold plague the jails. A federal court-appointed monitor has issued increasingly scathing reports outlining profound mismanagement and rampant violence. Staffing shortages compound these problems. As of early October, around 30 percent […]

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As Deaths Rise at Rikers Island, Oversight Board Fails to Raise Alarm

Of all the agencies that share responsibility for New York City’s troubled jail system, only one was established by the city solely to monitor conditions behind bars. That organization, the Board of Correction, has its own budget and the power to inspect the city’s jails at any time, even daily. It is meant to serve […]

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Sexual Assaults Are Worsening a Crisis at Rikers, Jail Officers Say

One female correction officer was attacked and choked by a man who had been convicted of sexual assault. Another, a veteran officer who had worked at the Rikers Island jail complex for more than 15 years, was groped as she escorted detainees through a crowded vestibule. A male officer said a detainee had grabbed his […]

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5 Takeaways From the First N.Y.C. Mayoral Debate

Eric Adams and Curtis Sliwa offered different visions for New York City in their first debate on Wednesday night, disagreeing over everything from vaccine mandates to keeping a statue of Thomas Jefferson at City Hall. Mr. Adams, the Democratic nominee, tried to remain calm while Mr. Sliwa, his Republican opponent, lobbed a barrage of attacks […]

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The Chaotic Conditions at Rikers Island

To the Editor: Re “Lawlessness Inside Rikers Lets Inmates Flex Power” (front page, Oct. 11): I worked at Rikers Island for two years as an attending physician. Your article captures very well the condition of the jail and the ineptness of the correctional services. Why are those responsible for running the facility providing ineffective security […]

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‘No Crime Is Worth That’

The Daily is made by Lisa Tobin, Rachel Quester, Lynsea Garrison, Annie Brown, Clare Toeniskoetter, Paige Cowett, Michael Simon Johnson, Brad Fisher, Larissa Anderson, Wendy Dorr, Chris Wood, Jessica Cheung, Stella Tan, Alexandra Leigh Young, Lisa Chow, Eric Krupke, Marc Georges, Luke Vander Ploeg, M.J. Davis Lin, Austin Mitchell, Neena Pathak, Dan Powell, Dave Shaw, […]

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Amid Chaos at Rikers, Women and Transgender People to Be Transferred

Gov. Kathy Hochul and Mayor Bill de Blasio on Wednesday announced that women and transgender people held at the Rikers Island jail complex will be transferred to two state prisons 40 miles north of New York City, in the latest effort to stem a crisis that has engulfed the correction system. The move, which begins […]

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Inside Rikers: Dysfunction, Lawlessness and Detainees in Control

When a detainee decided to hijack a bus inside the Rikers Island jail complex, little was in place to stop him. All he had to do was rise from where he sat with a half dozen other handcuffed men and walk to the front of the unguarded vehicle: A gate that should have confined him […]

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Crisis at Rikers and N.Y.C Jails Grows With 12th Death in Custody

A man who was being held at a New York City jail died on Wednesday, becoming the 12th person in city custody to die this year. Stephan Khadu, 24, died after being held at the Vernon C. Bain Center, a floating jail barge that is docked just north of the Rikers Island jail complex, where […]

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Rikers Island Crisis: House Democrats Call on de Blasio to Brief Congress

A trio of House Democrats has asked Mayor Bill de Blasio to brief Congress by next week on what they called “unacceptable conditions” at the jail complex on Rikers Island. The Democrats — Representatives Carolyn B. Maloney and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, and Jamie Raskin of Maryland — filed a letter on Monday requesting […]

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‘I Just Want to Be Normal’: A Mentally Ill Man’s Death at Rikers

When Esias Johnson moved to New York from his hometown in 2019, chasing dreams of musical stardom, his parents were terrified. Mr. Johnson, then 21, had been diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome as a child and suffered from mental illness for much of his young life, failing to fit in and eventually getting into trouble with […]

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Why Is Rikers Island Still Open?

During the past few months, Rikers Island has been the site of sequential atrocities so stark that this week four members of New York’s congressional delegation called for its immediate closure. Among the most recent was the death, a few weeks ago, of 24-year old Esias “Izzy” Johnson, who had spent the previous month trying […]

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After Rikers, Will It Be Enough to Build Better Jails?

Some architects are beginning to question their roles in designing prisons. Last September, the board of directors of the New York City chapter of the American Institute of Architects, a professional organization, issued a statement that acknowledged architects’ complicity in “upholding intrinsic racism within the criminal justice system” and called upon members to stop designing […]

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