Lawmakers make surprise visit to Rikers to check on conditions after 12 deaths this year
A group of Assembly members and City Council members made a surprise visit to Rikers Island on Monday to check on the conditions at the notorious facility.
This visit is the second of its kind in recent months. The group said while they found things to be a little better inside the jail, the current changes are not enough.
The visit reportedly got off to a rocky start, as the elected officials said their staffers were denied entry to accompany them inside the jail on the visit.
The elected officials say there were major improvements overall but that infrastructure issues still remain, adding that conditions are not consistent among all units.
Assembly Member Kenny Burgos said it all comes down to lack of staffing.
“There’s no accountability,” said Burgos. “You don’t have people showing up to work… it falls into disrepair. There’s no reason why I’m talking to incarcerated folks and they’re telling me they’d rather be upstate.”
The elected officials said they are committed to closing Rikers in the next four or five years but in the meantime want to make sure the people inside are not forgotten about.