The 7-day positivity rate in New York City jails was just over 19 percent on Sunday—down from nearly 37 percent just a week prior, the most recent data shows. But the humanitarian crisis at Rikers Island continues unabated, attorneys representing those behind bars testified Tuesday.
The 7-day positivity rate for those in the jail system who’ve been tested for the virus was more than 29 percent on Thursday, compared to 23 percent of city residents overall. But those in custody are much less likely to be vaccinated: just 38.4 percent have received both shots, compared to 72.3 percent of all New Yorkers.
‘The number one priority for both city and state government right now must be to create a humane, accessible trauma-responsive center in New York City for the small population of women and gender-expansive people that will remain incarcerated.’
Beginning this week, the city and state will begin transferring around 230 detainees being held at the troubled New York City jail complex to state correctional facilities in Westchester, what they say will help ease the ongoing humanitarian crisis at Rikers. But advocates are worried about the impact of the move, some calling it rushed and misguided.
‘City leaders have asked for our trust to embark on yet another massive jail building spree, at the cost of almost $10 billion dollars. But we can learn from the history of “reform” on Rikers Island, and Blackwell’s Island before it.’
‘I’m telling my story in the hope that fewer people like me, struggling with drug use and mental health issues, end up in here. I am writing to ask the New York State government to pass the Treatment Not Jail Act, which would mean people who get arrested because they really need help actually get treatment, and not jail.’
‘This month, the mayor announced he will be reopening one of the closed jails on Rikers to accommodate the rising jail population driven by unchecked fear mongering from his police commissioner. This is the wrong move, especially under the horrific conditions in which people are currently being held.’
As a deepening humanitarian crisis inside the Rikers Island jail complex fuels efforts to release more detainees, a judge’s decision can come down to one key consideration: Do they have a stable address?
The Department of Correction (DOC) is refusing to disclose how it ensured the safety of inmates in its more restrictive housing units, including during a record-breaking heat wave this summer, two petitions filed in Queens court Thursday by the Legal Aid Society allege.
Dozens of men splitting a single jug of water, sweating walls in cell units, inmates sucking air from cracks under doors—these are just some of the conditions inmates and advocates have reported from Rikers Island over the past few months.