Testimonies to close Rikers Island heard at New York City Council Committee on Criminal Justice

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Executive Director of the Independent Commission on New York City Zachary Katznelson testified Wednesday regarding the plan to close Rikers Island, stating that the situation could not be more dire.

Last week, two men perished in the custody of Rikers Island, the latest in a long morbid list of lost souls. Herman Diaz, 52, allegedly lost his life after choking on an orange while there were no correctional officers present to aid him. This stark lack of staff versus inmate ratio has been decried by advocates for years, while staff themselves state dangerous and hellish working conditions.

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