Mayor Adams tours Rikers Island
Despite the deaths of nine inmates this year who had been in the custody of the New York City Department of Correction, Mayor Eric Adams showed his support for officers during a visit to Rikers Island.
NEW YORK - Despite the deaths this year of nine people in city custody, Mayor Eric Adams heaped praise on the Department of Correction during a tour of Rikers Island.
While he called any death unacceptable, the mayor said: "I am truly pleased by what I am seeing and what I saw today."
Rikers Island has been plagued with problems for years. A federal judge recently gave the city six more months to enact reforms before she decides on whether to appoint a monitor.
On a typical day, 900 correction officers are out sick, according to Commissioner Louis Molina. That’s actually a reduction from the 2,000 who had been calling out sick.
NYC Department of Correction Commissioner Louis Molina on Rikers Island's future
There will be no federal court takover of Rikers Island, at least for now, after a judge accepted New York City's plan to fix the staffing and security crisis at the jail. But the judge warned that if urgently needed changes aren't made, all bets are off. FOX 5 NY speaks with Department of Correction Commissioner Louis Molina about the news and what the plans are to fix Rikers Island.
The mayor said it’s a "misnomer" to suggest that all those absent from work are "faking." The absences have led many inmates to miss medical appointments because there aren’t enough officers present to escort them.
During his tour Wednesday, the mayor showed off the more than 2,700 makeshift weapons and pieces of contraband seized at Rikers just since February. He said taking the weapons out of circulation will make Rikers safer.
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But critics abound.
On Thursday, some loved ones of the nine who have died this year will rally near City Hall to call for de-carceration and better inmate access to medical care.
Fate of Rikers Island
New York City has until June 10 to give a federal judge a detailed plan for the overhaul of the Rikers Island jail complex.