More than 200 women and transgender inmates will be transferred from New York City’s Rikers Island prison complex and state facilities, New York Governor Kathy Hochul (D) and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D). announced Wednesday.
why it matters: The Rikers have been plagued by neglect and dysfunction for years, made worse during the coronavirus pandemic. Wednesday’s announcement came amid growing calls by activists and human rights groups to close the facility.
- hochul last month ordered Release of 191 prisoners from Rikers Island.
big picture: Under Wednesday’s agreement, about 230 inmates will be transferred to state-run facilities in Westchester County, Bedford Hills Correctional Facility and Taconic Correctional Facility.
- The transfers will begin the week of 18 October, and will take place twice a week, with 10-20 prisoners being transferred each time.
of note: Officials said the transfer agreement is temporary, and state leaders are still examining long-term solutions.
What are they saying: “The situation on Rikers Island is serious and complex, and thus requires bold action from all levels of government to bring about change,” Hochul said in a statement. Having said that the move is aimed at helping the most vulnerable population in prison.
- Hochul said, “These actions will help reduce staffing concerns, capacity constraints, and improve safety for several hundred detainees until the city can identify and implement a sustainable solution that will bring justice to the event of a relapse.” “
- “I am proud to work with Governor Hochul on this initiative, which will provide significant relief to Rikers’ situation,” de Blasio said in a statement, noting that Rikers’ reform efforts have made “encouraging progress.” .
go in: Worsening crisis at Rikers Island prison calls for action