Tags: new york | rikers | jail | reform | deal

US, NYC Reach Deal Over Reforms for Rikers Jail Complex

Monday, 22 Jun 2015 05:49 PM

New York City has agreed to carry out a series of reforms at its Rikers Island jail complex to resolve U.S. Justice Department claims that guards regularly used unnecessary force against inmates, U.S. officials said on Monday.

In a letter filed in federal court in New York, Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara's office said the deal included appointing a federal monitor to oversee the reforms at Rikers, one of the largest jail complexes in the country.

"This comprehensive framework requires the city to implement sweeping operational changes to fix a broken system and dismantle a decades-long culture of violence," Bharara said in a statement.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio in a statement said the settlement "represents another strong step toward our goal of reversing the decades of abuse on Rikers and building a culture of safety for officers and inmates alike."

Rikers, which houses around 9,800 prisoners daily, has come under recent scrutiny for a culture of violence that included officer attacks on prisoners and several inmate deaths.

The proposed agreement requires approval from the Justice Department's civil rights division and from de Blasio, who has vowed to improve inmate safety at Rikers. The settlement will also require court approval.

The city has agreed to install 7,800 surveillance cameras throughout Rikers and develop an early warning system to identify guards who may "warrant corrective actions," the letter said.

The deal also calls for some guards to wear body cameras as part of a pilot program.

Steve Martin, a corrections expert who has served as a consultant for the Justice Department and the Department of Homeland Security, has been tapped to serve as monitor. (

© 2017 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

   
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New York City has agreed to carry out a series of reforms at its Rikers Island jail complex to resolve U.S. Justice Department claims that guards regularly used unnecessary force against inmates, U.S. officials said on Monday. In a letter filed in federal court in New York,...
new york, rikers, jail, reform, deal
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2015-49-22
Monday, 22 Jun 2015 05:49 PM
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