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Maloney, Ocasio-Cortez and Torres Visit Rikers Island, Call it a ‘Stain on the City and State’

Photo: QueensPost

Oct. 13, 2021 By Christian Murray

Three Congressional lawmakers—including two who represent neighborhoods in Queens—visited Rikers Island Tuesday and called the facility inhumane and urged local and state officials to take corrective action.

Representatives Carolyn Maloney, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ritchie Torres said the conditions that inmates are living under and prison staff face each day are horrific.

“The inhumane conditions we witnessed today are a stain on the City and State of New York. Riker’s horrific history must come to an end,” the trio said in a statement Tuesday. “The City, State, and federal government must immediately take action to correct the humanitarian crisis on Rikers Island, and provide a safe and clean environment – including ensuring access to medical care for those incarcerated there.”

The lawmakers said that action must be taken immediately to alleviate the problem. They said it was inexcusable that the number of in-custody deaths on Rikers Island has more than quadrupled over the past two years, including five individuals who have died of suspected suicides this year alone.

“We can act today by beginning the decarceration process, supporting individuals’ return to their communities, and working with the Courts to reduce pretrial sentencing and to expedite hearings for those currently incarcerated.”

They said that they welcomed the recent signing of the Less Is More Act, although said more needs to be done.

The Less is More Act aims to reform the state’s parole system and reduce the likelihood that parolees will be incarcerated for minor or technical violations, such as missing an appointment or failing to meet a curfew. The act also aims to speed up the timeframe for judicial review for any violations.

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9 Comments

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Concerned Citizen

I think the crimes they committed to get there in the first place is a bigger stain on the city.

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Local citizen

Have they visited our southern border to check on the illegal immigrant
Crossing illegally

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Killer Behind Bars

As someone who has been there. I can tell you, you are treated worse then dogs. I dont understand why Sarah McLachlan doesn’t have commercials on Rikers instead of ASPCA.

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Cause people there are there for a reason.

The dogs and other abused animals did nothing to be abused.

The morally bankrupt don’t deserve respect because they don’t respect.

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Lucky number 7 train

straight out of maxine waters play book. If you see these politicians out you ensemble a crowd and get in their face and let them know that they are not wanted and that their politics are ruining our city and causing crime to sky rocket.

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Jackie

Thanks for sharing. But few care about what is going on at rikers especially during a time when crime shootings and assaults are up and homeless are all over our streets. Local politicians should take a walk through real neighborhoods and meet with or look at everyday people not set up gatherings at like Astoria Park and Center Boulevard in Long Island City just so you could meet and greet your followers.

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Repeal Bail Reform

Jackie- I’m not sure of what message your post is trying to convey but one sentence caught my attention “ But few care about what is going on at rikers especially during a time when crime shootings and assaults are up and homeless are all over our streets.” I’m not a believer in AOC’s form of progressive politics especially her views on criminal justice but there is one thing I’m certain of, you may want to care about what goes on in Rikers since all of it’s detainees are skated for release and will be walking the streets, riding mass transit and living amongst the rest of us. Inhumane conditions and violence only serve to exasperate mental illness and escalate violence within those detained. This isn’t something new. In the 1930’s a man named Clyde Burrows was a petty juvenile criminal with absolutely no history of violence. When he was finally released from the Texas Department of Corrections he was a violent homicidal public menace. The state of Texas actually conceded their system “created” this monster and reformed its penal system because of it. Those who don’t know history are doomed to repeat its mistakes.

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