NEW YORK (PIX11) — New York City Mayor Eric Adams toured the jail complex on Rikers Island Wednesday, announcing a crackdown on violence in Department of Correction facilities.
Posing alongside some of the thousands of contraband and makeshift weapons seized on Rikers Island this year alone, Adams vowed safer conditions.
“The era of neglecting the violence and dysfunction of our city’s jails is over,” he said. “Over 2,700 weapons have been recovered from Rikers Island this year thanks to uniform staff returning to the job and our administration resuming tactical search operations —making our jails safer for staff and people in custody.”
Adams reviewed conditions at the complex one day after a detainee died in DOC custody at Bellevue Hospital’s Prison Ward in Manhattan. Tuesday’s death marked the eighth of the year among DOC detainees, and the second in as many days. On Monday, an inmate died at the George R. Vierno Center on Rikers Island, becoming the seventh death in DOC custody of the year.
The New York City Board of Correction has determined that “longstanding issues” contributed to the first three DOC custody deaths of 2022. The Rikers Island complex has been plagued by problems for years. In April, a US attorney argued that Rikers should be placed under federal conservatorship. But city officials submitted a plan to fix the jail, which was approved by a federal judge, effectively keeping control of the jail in the hands of the DOC and Adams.