Incarceration

A new report from the Board of Correction states that “a pervasive issue of insufficient supervision by correctional staff” was a factor in most tragedies behind bars.
Rikers Island was designed to hold people accused of crimes less than a year. Why have some detainees been there for six, eight and even 10 years?
Not only was John Teixeria granted a rare “medical parole” in January 2020 but he’s also received standard parole every six months since then. But state prison officials say they have no place to send him in his condition.
When people with mental health issues enter the criminal justice system and the city’s lock-ups, they often get less help and more trauma.
Three years ago, the Department of Investigation recommended that the Department of Correction update its system of tracking violent incidents from old-school secret logbooks to a transparent digital system. Nothing has changed yet.
The City Council has still not introduced any measure to end solitary confinement in city jails despite a majority of members publicly opposing the practice. The public advocate’s office meanwhile has taken up the mantle and says a bill will be introduced in weeks.
A worker with the Osborne Association, which provides inmate services on the island jail, was overcome by pepper spray after a terrifying surprise training drill with a correction officer dressed up as an inmate.
In 2015, Andrew Cuomo vowed to overhaul the state’s clemency process, but never followed through. Now, thousands of petitions offer a test of Gov. Kathy Hochul’s commitment to “improving justice.” Here are the stories of three incarcerated men making pitches for freedom.
As plans to close chaotic Rikers Island slowly turn, the Atlantic Avenue lockup is already empty and awaiting demolition. THE CITY toured the old jail and found eerie signs of the building’s 65-year history of holding countless detainees.
“It’s a tremendous problem and it’s getting worse,” one public defender said. Meanwhile, advocates derided Mayor de Blasio’s emergency plan to stem Rikers Island chaos as too little, too late — and called for a mass release of low-level offenders.
The governor arrived in office in 2011 with an agenda aimed at bolstering New York State. Some of his promises — from marriage equality to minimum wage to supportive housing and more — came to fruition, while others remain outstanding.
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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.
The Department of Correction stopped visitation last spring at the beginning of the pandemic. Now family and friends of detainees are returning under a new system.
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.
Following New York’s repeal of 50-a law barring release of uniformed officer personnel records, Department of Correction files show 11 officers were disciplined for at least three confirmed misconduct incidents over an 18-month period.
Jail supervisors have begun training staff at Rikers Island and other local lockups on updated pandemic protocols. Some families can’t wait: “My son keeps saying he just wants to give his dad a million hugs.”
Children still can’t speak to one other or the teacher together as a virtual class, and video is limited. Schooling behind bars is one of the issues the City Council is expected to tackle Friday in a hearing on COVID-19 and the juvenile justice system.
Carolyn Jones survived the 1996 incident outside a Bedford-Stuyvesant church. But she says she can’t fully heal unless the governor springs David Herion. “I want him home yesterday,” she said.
A drastic increase in coronavirus cases at upstate lockups has loved ones and prison critics concerned about health and human rights issues. Meanwhile, New Jersey just released 2,000 prisoners to stem pandemic spread.
Inmates with most high-profile cases appear to get worse medical treatment amid lack of staff, prison commission reports suggest.
Layleen Polanco, 27, was being punished in solitary confinement after being jailed on misdemeanor charges and held on $500 bail, sources said.