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Department of Correction

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After NYC Jail Officials Ignored Suicide Prevention Plan, Five Detainees Took Their Own Lives

A federal monitor’s latest damning dispatch landed as local members of Congress called on President Biden to stem the chaos at Rikers Island. Meanwhile, Mayor de Blasio promised to visit the beleaguered jail for the first time in four years.

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New Death Rocks Rikers Island as De Blasio Targets Correction Officers’ Union With Huge Fines

Isaabdul Karim became the 11th detainee to die this year at Rikers, which has been roiled by inhumane conditions as staff outages reach 1,800 a day. The city is suing to make the union pay $1 million for every day of massive absences.

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Self-Harm Is Exploding In New York City Jails, Internal Numbers Show

Self-harm — including suicides — at Rikers Island and other local lockups spiked last summer as COVID-19 ravaged New York, figures obtained by WNYC/Gothamist and THE CITY show. The rate’s climbed to historic levels in the months since.

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Rikers Staffing Crisis Limits Access to Medical Care

With thousands of officers not coming into work, incarcerated people aren’t getting escorted to their medical appointments, a New York Focus investigation finds.

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Rikers Detainee Endured ‘Horrible Conditions’ Before Dying in Cell, Jails Overseer Finds

Missing blankets and sheets. No pillows. Limited food and exercise. That’s what a new father jailed on a parole violation stemming from a shoplifting arrest faced before becoming the first of three men to die at Rikers since April.

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Tablets for Inmates: New NYC Jails Chief Presents Reform Plan Ahead of Next Mayor

Correction Commissioner Vincent Schiraldi’s "comprehensive post-pandemic recovery" proposal also covers everything from cutting down on triple shifts for correction officers to fixing broken cell doors.

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Hundreds of New City Jail Officers for Rikers Put Detainee Advocates on Guard

Rikers Island and other city lockups employ five officers for every three incarcerated people. As some call for a reduction in officers, the City Council okays a budget plan that boosts the ranks by 400.

Bronx Woman Mourns Son Who Died at Rikers as Cellmate Says Help was Slow to Come

Jose Mejia Martinez became the third person jailed on a parole violation to die at the city jail since April. Another detainee told THE CITY a jail officer didn’t immediately get medical help for the ailing man, remembered by his mother as "very caring."

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Parole Reform Bill Set to Pass in Albany After Rikers Deaths

Lawmakers announced a deal to overhaul New York’s parole system to limit when parolees could be re-jailed. The move comes days after THE CITY revealed the April deaths of two men sent back to jail for low-level arrests.

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Death of Two Men at Rikers — One Held on Shoplifting Rap — Amplifies Push to Overhaul Parole Rules

The deaths of Thomas Braunson and Richard Blake come as lawmakers rush to pass the "Less is More" reform package that would restrict re-jailings on minor charges. But the clock is ticking with the Legislature set to break for summer next week.

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City Jails Roiled by ‘Disorder and Chaos,’ Feds Say as Correction Boss Quits

Use of force against inmates at Rikers Island and other local lockups hits five-year high, according to the federal monitor appointed to oversee the troubled system as part of a 2015 class-action lawsuit settlement.

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De Blasio Calls for ‘Full Accounting’ of NYC Inmates Who Died of COVID after Testing Positive in Jail

Mayor’s comments followed investigation by Columbia Journalism School and THE CITY that identified three men who died after contracting the virus in Department of Correction custody — but were not counted in the official death toll.

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NYC Jail-Related COVID Fatalities at Least Double Official Three Who Died in Custody

THE CITY and Columbia Journalism School identified six men who died after contracting coronavirus while in Department of Correction facilities. In an eerie echo of New York nursing homes, the department did not count deaths following release.

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De Blasio Plan to Eliminate Solitary Confinement Falls Short for Inmate Advocates

"All they did was change the name, and slightly, very slightly, changed a few things," said Melania Brown, whose sister, Layleen Polanco, died in a solitary cell at Rikers Island in 2019.

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City Jailers Defy Oversight Board to Keep Young Adults in Isolation

An "emergency" petition by the Correction Department to put youths alone in cells for up to 17 hours a day comes nearly eight months after Mayor Bill de Blasio promised to end solitary confinement for all inmates.

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Students on Rikers Island Locked Out of Remote Learning Video Chat With Teachers

For the hundreds of young adults in city jails working toward a high-school diploma, educational and other much-sought programming has been devastated by the pandemic.

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Close-Rikers Jail Plan Faces Pandemic-Driven Delay as Budget’s Cut by $500M

Funding for building four borough jails has been sliced to $8.2 billion, a 10-year city budget forecast says — with a new construction timeline that could extend two years past the mayor’s 2026 Rikers shutdown pledge.

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Inmates Say Warden Brings Calm to Rikers’ Young Adult Jail, But Correction Officers Balk

Violence has dropped in lockup for 18- to-21-year-old detainees since Joe Caputo took over. But critics slam a mentorship program manned by older inmates — including one accused of assaulting a correction officer.

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City Agrees to Extend Federal Oversight of Youth Lockup After Grim Reports Persist

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Force Use Against Inmates Reached Record as COVID Hit New York City

"Hyper-confrontational" correction officers triggered pepper sprayings and brawls, according to the latest report from a federal monitor overseeing Rikers Island and other city jails.