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With Rikers in Crisis, Critics Wonder: where is Bill de Blasio?

Mr Adams released a plan for Rikers that includes moving mentally disordered inmates and drug addicts out of the compound and banning officers from working triple shifts, which has become more common as other officers are chronically absent.

“Eric believes the situation at Rikers is now a crisis in its own right that must be resolved with immediate investments in staff and resources, as well as new policies that protect inmates and officers, and which we cannot wait for. new prisons to solve this problem. “Adams spokesman Evan Thies said in a statement.

Curtis Sliwa, the Republican candidate for mayor, held an event near Gracie Mansion on Sunday to urge Mr de Blasio to visit Rikers and to draw attention to the officers who were attacked by people incarcerated there . Mr Sliwa, the founder of the Guardian Angels, opposes the closure of Rikers and wants to build new facilities at the complex.

More immediately, Mr. Sliwa wants to hire an additional 2,000 agents and remove the emotionally disturbed people from the complex. He said he was detained at Rikers in the 1980s and saw the conditions for himself.

“It’s falling apart and it’s not fair to inmates or correctional officers,” Sliwa said in an interview. “The doors are broken and lawlessness reigns.”

Three incarcerated people died in Rikers last month, including Esias Johnson, a 24-year-old man who was being held on $ 1 bail and whose family said he had struggled with mental illness, and Brandon Rodriguez, a man 25 years old. old man who used a shirt to hang himself. After their deaths, the Legal Aid Society said the corrections service had shown they could not keep people safe and called on Mr de Blasio to reduce the number of people being held at the compound.

The vast majority of those held in Rikers, as well as in other prisons in the city, are awaiting trial. There are currently nearly 6,000 people held in prisons; more than three quarters have not yet been tried and are presumed innocent.

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