NEW YORK (PIX11) – A federal court hearing happening Thursday could mark the end of mayoral authority over Rikers Island, with oversight being shifted to a federal receiver.
The judge has asked the New York City Department of Correction commissioner to attend the hearing. A federal monitor has already asked the judge to hold the Adams administration in contempt for failing to improve conditions at the jail.
A bipartisan group of city council members toured Rikers on Tuesday, noting improvements.
“So now this dilapidated infrastructure there that was vulnerable, they were being converted into weapons… now that’s not happening anymore thanks to the physical improvements to the plant,” said Councilmember David Carr.
Seven inmates have died at the facility in 2023 so far. Serious stabbings and slashings at Rikers have decreased from their pandemic high, but the number of inmates suffering from mental illness has doubled to one in five, according to a state comptroller report on jails in New York.
The Adams administration has fought back against federal oversight, saying that investment in youth programming is what Rikers needs.