Governor Kathy Hochul and Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Wednesday that women and transgender detainees in the Rickers Island prison complex will be transferred to two state prisons miles0 miles north of New York City. Correction system.
The move, which began Monday, is aimed at resolving the ongoing labor crisis – about one in three prisons not showing up for work – by allowing the city to post guards from women’s units in other, more chaotic parts of the complex.
It comes at a time when pressure is mounting on state and federal officials as the city struggles to restore order in Rickers, its largest prison, which has fallen into danger and despair.
The closure of such services during the transition epidemic could allow women who do not receive medical and mental health care in Rykers to access that care in state prisons. But it could make it even harder for detainees – most of whom are awaiting trial – to attend court hearings and meet with lawyers and family members who will now be at least an hour away from Manhattan.
“Their daily lives in prison will be better,” said Jacqueline Katzelson, executive director of the Independent Commission for Criminal Justice and Incarceration Reform, a New York City-based research and advocacy firm. “But it will be more difficult to resolve cases and get access to families and lawyers. This should be a short term measure. ”
Attorney Tina Luongo, who is in charge of the Legal Aid Society’s criminal defense practice, called the move “a bad idea.” De Blasio is stepping down to solve the problem plaguing the Rikers at the expense of the detainees. “It won’t help staff problems,” MX said. Lungo, who added that transgender women, in particular, have benefited from the assistance of Rikers who are not in state prisons with guard training related to the LGBTQ community and more access to gender-guaranteed medical care.
Despite the shortage of staff, the Correctional Department said it would provide daily transportation from New York City to the state prison for family members of inmates.
In a statement Wednesday, Ms Hochul said the relocation, which would occur at a rate of about 20 per week, would secure the Rickers prison compound until the city could “identify and implement a permanent solution that would judge the situation at Rickers.”
About 230 people will be relocated from the Rose M. Singer Center on Rykers Island 800 an 800-bed facility for women and transgender people বে at the Bedford Hills Correctional Facility and nearby Taconic Correctional Facility, 400 guards will be released for understaffed and degrading work. Housing areas across Ryker, according to the mayor, governor and the Department of Corrections.
Prison Commissioner Vincent Shiraldi said: “This decision connects our female and transgender people to the services and programs they receive on Rickers Island or better than them.” “This allows us to significantly reduce the number of triple shifts and temporary positions at other Rikers facilities and increase access to protection and services.”
Last month, more than a third of all prison officials were either called ill or simply failed to perform their duties. The result is an increasingly dangerous situation for guards and incarcerated people. In some prisons, prisoners had free rein, controlling who entered and left residential areas, and some fishermen stopped confiscating weapons and failed to intervene in executions and other emergencies.
So far this year, 12 people have died in New York City’s prison system – the most since 2015 – including five suicides.
The relocation plan follows other efforts to reduce the population of Rikers. Last month, Mrs Hochul began releasing detainees under a new law known as the Less Is More Act, aimed at reducing prison population by releasing people accused of violating parole, such as failing to report to a parole officer. A further 143 people have been convicted of minor offenses and spent a year or less were also transferred from Rikers to state prisons last month.
The New York City prison system holds more than 5,700 inmates on a given day, most of whom live in eight prison buildings on Rickers Island. Most of the Rikers are awaiting trial.
Responding to reports of widespread staff absenteeism, Mr. De Blasio signed an emergency order last month suspending correctional officers who did not perform their duties. So far, more than 100 officers have been suspended and at least five have resigned, city officials said. More than 1,600 have not yet been shown for work.