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How to make Rikers safer and more humane right now

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This week, the 12th person died in custody at Rikers Island since the start of 2021. It’s the second death this week alone.

It’s clear to all watching: Rikers Island has become a humanitarian crisis.

I visited Rikers last week and what I saw was beyond anything I could have imagined. The conditions are inhumane, both for the staff and the incarcerated individuals.

We have a duty to provide food, water, a place to sleep and medical services to anyone in our city’s custody, yet the incarcerated individuals at Rikers Island are not receiving these basic services. People are trapped in intake for weeks on end and COVID-19 is a high threat to anyone in custody with the lack of social distancing, masks or vaccinations.

Staff are putting in double, triple and quadruple shifts, giving them no time to physically or mentally recover in order to return to work. They’re depleted and exhausted. We owe these New Yorkers who are continuing to show up in our most difficult moment endless gratitude and overwhelming support.

All of us who have seen this situation first-hand........

© NY Daily News

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