MANHATTAN (PIX11) — Demonstrators will descend on City Hall on Tuesday to protest conditions at Rikers Island, while a City Council committee will weigh options to improve the scandal-scarred detention complex.

The dual events come just days after Rikers logged the 19th death of a current or recently-released Department of Correction inmate, marking the most in a year since 2013.

Mayor Eric Adams maintains that conditions at Rikers are headed in the right direction, saying that staffing levels are up and violence is down.

But some families of current Rikers detainees, as well as community groups and former inmates, say otherwise, and plan to make their voices heard with a noon rally outside City Hall. 

Additionally, the City Council’s Committee on Criminal Justice will convene Tuesday to discuss the DOC’s plans for further improving jail staffing while tamping down on violence within Rikers’ walls. The committee will also hear testimony on two bills, one related to pregnant inmates and the other proposing the creation of a city-run parole board for some offenders.

The city’s Legal Aid Society had petitioned a federal court to transfer control of the detention complex to Washington, D.C., but a judge ruled last month that City Hall could maintain control.

The ruling came even as Rikers has tallied the most inmate deaths it has seen in nearly a decade. Edgardo Mejias, 39, died at the complex’s Anna M. Kross Center around 5 p.m. Sunday, becoming the 17th person to die in DOC custody in 2022. That’s in addition to two people who died shortly after they were granted compassionate release.

Former Mayor Bill de Blasio set in motion a plan to close Rikers by 2027, replacing it with smaller, borough-based jails. Adams, however, has said that he does not believe that timeline is feasible.