Tuesday, September 16, 2014

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Local Leaders Call for Rikers Reforms

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Some local leaders are pushing for reforms on Rikers Island.

The prison facility has been under fire for recent high profile incidents in which inmates were injured or killed.

Speakers say this kind of treatment is unacceptable, and are urging the Department of Correction to create better ways of handling inmate conflicts.

"The U.S. Department of Justice recently reported that up to 25 percent of teenagers on Rikers are held in isolation," said Johanna Miller of the New York Civil Liberties Union.

"We need to change that culture, and when a young man slips and falls and gets on lock-down, we must do all we can to rehabilitate that individual so they can come out and be a productive person of society—not demoralize and strip him of his humanity," said Bronx City Councilman Andy King.

The Department of Correction responded with a statement that read in part: "The DOC is also pursuing a number of system-wide initiatives to make jails safer, including rewriting our Use of Force policy to bring it into the 21st century, and accelerating the installation of more security cameras in facilities."

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