Gov. Kathy Hochul said Tuesday even though Rikers Island is a city-run facility, the problems at the much-maligned Queens jail facility could rise to the level of state intervention.
The facility has been plagued for years by issues — including high profile assaults and suicides, all of which prompted New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio to push a plan to close Rikers in favor of several smaller jails in each borough.
“Its very volatile,” Hochul said. “I’m very disturbed by what’s going on there…I understand it’s a city operation, but we also want to make sure that we leave no stone unturned to find out what we can do to help this situation.
This week, elected officials toured Rikers Island and shared what they found: based on their accounts, the facility is “inhumane,” “torturous” and “ripe for disaster.”
De Blasio, who has only months left in office, said he now has a new emergency plan to deal with what many are calling a humanitarian crisis at Rikers Island.
“We’re going to be bringing in additional help from a crucial sister agency — the NYPD — to help with certain discreet functions that will take pressure off the department of corrections,” he said.