News 04.24.18

#CLOSErikers Holds Rally at New York City Hall to Shut Down Rikers Now

By Innocence Staff

#CLOSErikers rally on the steps of New York City Hall. Photo by Maddy deLone.

The #CLOSErikers campaign was launched in April 2016 to close Rikers Island, the second largest jail in the country. In recent years, Rikers has received increased media attention due to harsh conditions and various abuses that have occurred behind its walls. Last April, Mayor de Blasio announced his endorsement of a plan to shut down Rikers Island within 10 years.

Related: Mayor de Blasio Announces Plans to Shut Down Rikers Island

Today, on the two-year anniversary of its founding, #CLOSErikers hosted a rally on the steps of New York City Hall to demand that Mayor de Blasio decrease the jail population and close Rikers as quickly as possible.

“Rikers Island, a jail engulfed by human brutality, continues to signify mass incarceration, racial disparities and economic injustice—89% of detainees are black or Latino; 79% of people at Riker’s are presumed innocent, awaiting trial; and many have been victimized by a cash-for-bail system. In addition to other needed pre-trial reforms in New York, like discovery and bail reform, it is high time that Rikers, a stain on our city, is shuttered and replaced with borough-based facilities that allow people to be closer to their families, their lawyers and the courts,” said Rebecca Brown, director of policy at the Innocence Project.

The Innocence Project is a proud partner of the #CLOSErikers campaign and supports its efforts to close Rikers as expeditiously as possible.

To join the fight to #CLOSErikers, please visit the campaign’s website here.

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  1. Michelle Jones says:

    Liberty, Justice for all

  2. Rosa Nazar says:

    My son is feature in the documentary shown in the link below. He has schizophrenia and being pumped with medicine. He gained about 80 lbs and I see most inmates gained about or more weight than my son Saul Nunez. With the help of NYC police, I managed to place my son at North Central Mental Hospital in the Bronx. I begged them not to let him go but they told me “Saul did not hit anyone, we can’t keep him here”. I told them Saul hallucinates and he bought a cane to catch the devils approaching him; their answer “people said a lot of thing but that does not mean they will act on it”. My son was released and hit the devil (in this case an old man) with a cane. Gov. Ordered a probe of the hospital for releasing Saul, the old man forgave Saul and gave me a hugged in an emotional interview with PIX11. My son, like other inmates, are just being killed slowly with all the medicine they are give. Psychiatrist are rotated every 6 weeks so inmates are not really being treated. Rikers get $752 PER DAY PER INMATE. This money should be given to the mental hospitals. My son has a bail of $75,000 as if I have the money Saul will be miracle cured. BAIL NEITHER JAIL IS TREATMENT FOR THE MENTALLY ILL OR ADDICTED. Change needs to happen now. We can’t keep allowing all the injustice going on at jails in the USA. It is slavery and wealth-based discrimination. Please help. http://pix11.com/2018/02/24/rikers-and-city-jails-have-more-mental-patients-than-all-hospitals-in-nys-doctor-says/

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