Legal Aid Society


Special Report: Violence on Rikers Island Continues

A special report by federal monitor Steve Martin filed on Friday details five “serious and disturbing incidents involving harm to incarcerated persons” over the past two weeks on Rikers Island, as reported by THE CITY.

The monitor is in place as the result of Nunez v. City of New York, litigation brought by The Legal Aid Society concerning brutality and excessive force in New York City jails, and his latest findings come as no surprise.

“Unfortunately, the violence and danger that the Monitor describes is the predictable result of the City’s lack of control over its jails and its unwillingness to take strong measures to make the jails safer, said Mary Lynne Werlwas, Director of Legal Aid’s Prisoners’ Rights Project. “The weak, narrow ‘Action Plan’ that the City touts as its path forward cannot and has not worked, and will continue to result in catastrophe.”

Legal Aid has been granted a conference so that the City can explain how it has addressed these violent incidents and will prevent further tragedies and continues to call for independent leadership of City jails through a receivership with the authority and willingness to enact bold and swift change.