NEW YORK (PIX11) — The federal watchdog that oversees New York City jails, including Rikers Island, just released their latest report, writing that in the first few months of 2022 city jails “remain unstable and unsafe for both inmates and staff.”
With 48 slashings and stabbings in city jails during the month of January alone, the report found the high rate of violence inside city jails has become normalized. The report comes as new Department of Correction Commissioner Louis Molina approaches 100 days of his administration.
“This report clarifies what myself and colleagues have been shouting at the tops of our lungs for years at this point,” City Councilmember Tiffany Caban told PIX11 News. “It is a full scale humanitarian crisis.”
Under Molina’s term, the DOC broke up gang-affiliated housing. In-person family visits have resumed and 1,300 staffers have returned to active-duty work. Still, questions remain about Molina’s leadership.
“The new commissioner made it much easier for the Department of Corrections officers to call in sick,” Christopher Boyle, an attorney with New York County Defender Services, told PIX11 News.
In a statement Commissioner Molina said “even before joining DOC in January, I was well-aware of the history of problems facing the Department. We must do better, and we can do better. We are moving forward as swiftly as possible to fix longstanding issues.”