Requires Reporting On Inmate Treatment
City Council Member Elizabeth Crowley and the City Council unanimously passed Intro. No. 292-A, sponsored by City Council Member Daniel Dromm, to provide greater transparency at the Rikers Island Correctional Facility.
The legislation requires the commissioner of the Department of Correction (DOC), in coordination with the commissioner of the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, to post a quarterly report on its website regarding punitive segregation statistics for city jails, including:
– the total number of inmates housed in punitive segregation;
– their age, race and gender;
– their length of stay;
– whether they’ve been injured, attempted or committed suicide while segregated;
– whether they were sexually or physically assaulted;
– whether they were subject to use of force; and
– whether they received certain services such as recreation and showers, medical attention and phone calls as well as a number of other indicators.
“It’s time we re-examine how the Department of Correction administers punitive segregation in our city jails,” said Crowley, chair of the Committee on Fire and Criminal Justice, at a pre-stated meeting press conference in the City Hall Red Room. “This bill will bring an unprecedented level of transparency to Rikers Island, and will enable the Council and the public to have a better understanding of DOC’s use of punitive segregation and whether changes to the disciplinary process need to be made. I want to thank Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and Council Member Dromm for their advocacy, partnership, and commitment to reforming our city jails.”
The City Council also passed a resolution which calls on the city Department of Correction to end the practice of placing individuals returning to city jails into punitive segregation, also known as solitary confinement, to complete time owed.
“The problems on Rikers Island have been decades in the making, but we now have the right climate and leadership to begin serious discussions about reform and the threshold of acceptable use of force in our city jails,” said Crowley.