NY City Council holds oversight hearing on Rikers Island amid takeover talk

ByEyewitness News WABC logo
Tuesday, December 13, 2022
City Council holds oversight hearing on Rikers Island
New York City Council holds a hearing at the Rikers Island prison complex, amid talk of a federal takeover and criticism of Mayor Eric Adams.

RIKERS ISLAND (WABC) -- The New York City Council held an oversight hearing Tuesday on the state of reforms at the troubled Rikers Island prison complex.

It comes amid ongoing federal hearings on a possible takeover and on the heels of the 19th death this year of an inmate while in custody.

City Correction Department Commissioner Louis Molina testified that progress is being made toward making Rikers safer under an action plan developed with a federal monitor.

He says slashings and stabbings are down by 85% over the last 12 months at a facility housing inmates under the age of 22.

That is thanks to a violence reduction plan that will now be expanded to other facilities.

"We next return to court on April 27th, at that time I have every intention of presenting a picture of continued progress toward undoing the years of mismanagement and neglect that have made an action plan necessary," Molina said.

Before the hearing, activists gathered on the steps of City Hall and accused Mayor Eric Adams of not doing enough to stick to a plan to shut down Rikers by 2027.

Last month, a federal judge ruled the city should be allowed to continue its attempts to reform the prison complex, concluding that putting the troubled jail in receivership would be premature.

RELATED: Rise in Rikers Island prison deaths sparks concern

7 On Your Side investigates found 18 inmates have died so far at Rikers Island since January. Dan Krauth has the story.

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