No food, no water, no access to basic facilities. A “alarming amount of death,” including at least five suicides.
These are the conditions that make Rikers Island — New York City’s main jail facility — a living, breathing humanitarian crisis in the middle of the East River, according to City officials, justice activists and relatives of Rikers inmates who rallied and testified at City Hall on Wednesday morning.
The rally preceded a City Council Criminal Justice Committee hearing on the conditions at Rikers this morning. Council Member and Committee chair Keith Powers (D-Manhattan) said there had been a “collapse of basic jail operations” at the facility.