‘State of danger and crisis’: Congress, court pressure NYC to fix Rikers

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FILE – This March 16, 2011 file photo shows a barbed wire fence outside inmate housing on New York’s Rikers Island correctional facility in New York. New York City’s notorious Rikers Island jail complex, troubled by years of neglect, has spiraled into turmoil during the coronavirus pandemic. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews, File)

NEW YORK (AP) — New York City is facing mounting pressure to solve its spiraling jail crisis, with members of Congress calling for a federal civil rights investigation and a court-appointed monitor blasting the city for a failure of leadership amid staggering violence, self-harm and the deaths this year of at least 12 inmates.

U.S. District Judge Laura Swain, overseeing a jail consent decree, said on an emergency conference call Friday that the city’s notorious Rikers Island jail complex is “clearly in a state of danger and crisis.”

On the call, lawyers for inmates and city government debated the monitor’s latest recommendations for reversing deteriorating conditions and debilitating staff absences.

Meanwhile, Mayor Bill de Blasio said will tour Rikers next week.

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