Bed-Stuy man calls for shutdown of Rikers Island

A former Rikers Island inmate is calling for the shutdown of the jail, saying there is too much violence there. Glenn Martin, 45, spent time at Rikers for shoplifting when he was 16. Martin, who grew

News 12 Staff

Mar 23, 2016, 3:54 AM

Updated 2,985 days ago

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Bed-Stuy man calls for shutdown of Rikers Island
A former Rikers Island inmate is calling for the shutdown of the jail, saying there is too much violence there.
Glenn Martin, 45, spent time at Rikers for shoplifting when he was 16. Martin, who grew up in Bed-Stuy, says within 24 hours of being at Rikers he was stabbed four times while correction officers looked on and laughed.
Martin is now a prisoner advocate, and president and founder of Just Leadership USA. Martin says Rikers should be closed and smaller jails should be built or existing ones should be expanded. He says Rikers is too dangerous and adds that smaller community-based jails would be safer.
Mayor Bill de Blasio admits there is an environment of violence and abuse at Rikers, buts says the city is in the process of reforming the jail. "Closing Rikers does not close the jail system, and we need to fix what's inside these buildings wherever we put them," says de Blasio.
The goal of Just Leadership USA is to cut the prison population in half by 2030.


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