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LAS Decries Move to Transfer Detained Women Out of New York City

The Legal Aid Society is condemning a deal between Governor Kathy Hochul and Mayor Bill de Blasio that will move women incarcerated on Rikers Island to facilities outside of New York City, as reported by Spectrum News.

Approximately 230 people, including transgender women, will be transferred to the Bedford Hill and Taconic Correctional Facilities, both of which are located 40 miles north of the City. While reducing the population on Rikers Island is important, moving these women so far from the City is not an acceptable solution.

“This decision will create new harms for these women, disrupting their access to due process, their children, families and support networks,” said Tina Luongo, Attorney-in-Charge of the Criminal Defense Practice at The Legal Aid Society. “This move is rushed, ill-conceived and will surely inflict further trauma on our clients. We again demand decarceration, and are considering litigation should Governor Hochul and Mayor de Blasio proceed with these transfers.”

Luongo also expressed concern that transgender and non-binary clients would not have access to the resources they require and would risk being incorrectly housed.