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Rikers Jail in ‘State of Emergency’

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“The level of disorder here is deeply, deeply troubling,” New York City Correction Commissioner Vincent Schiraldi said after viewing clips of three inmates attacking one another inside a cell at the sprawling Rikers Island facility.

The head of New York City jails acknowledged “serious problems” at Rikers Island hours before The New York Post released video clips of three inmates attacking one another inside a cell. “The level of disorder here is deeply, deeply troubling,” Correction Commissioner Vincent Schiraldi said after viewing the clips. According to the New York Post, 500 doors at Rikers’ Robert N. Davoren Complex — where the videos showed men dancing, smoking, drinking and fighting — are broken, “fueling violence and other misconduct.” In a virtual briefing, New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams described Rikers as being in a “state of emergency,” calling for “emergency decarceration” to reduce the population amid staffing shortages that the Correction Officers’ Benevolent Association (COBA) has linked to injuries inflicted on its members by inmates.

Schiraldi said he hoped to improve conditions at Rikers by ending triple shifts for officers, improving morale and creating more programs for incarcerated individuals. But the staffing shortages likely won’t abate anytime soon: according to ​​COBA spokesman Michael Skelly,  no correction officers had been hired since February 2019 — despite more than 1,300 resignations prompted by the triple shifts that officers are routinely forced to work without warning. In response to concerns about the jail, Mayor Bill de Blasio invoked his $8.7 billion plan to replace Rikers with four smaller jails in Manhattan, Brooklyn, The Bronx and Queens by August 2027.

Source: The Crime Report https://thecrimereport.org/2021/09/10/rikers-jail-in-state-of-emergency/

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