Things are getting heated between the Corrections Department and two City Council members over conditions on Rikers Island.
City Council Members Tiffany Cabán and Sandy Nurse arrived unannounced at the penal island on July 25 to inspect conditions between the rising death toll in city jails and a boiling heatwave. It is the rising temperatures that have the elected officials extremely concerned and are fearful could contribute to more deaths, especially for those who suffer from underlying health issues.
According to several reports, Dashawn Carter – one of 11 New Yorkers to die in DOC custody this year – missed nearly 100 clinic appointments at Rikers before dying in May. Cabán revealed that she intended the visit to also include Supervising Attorney with the Prisoners’ Rights Project Veronica Vela but says Vela was denied entry by the Department of Corrections. Cabán indicated that she spoke with Commissioner Louis Molina who cited the refusal as a change in policy.