Rikers Island to remain in NYC's control

New York City will, at least for now, retain control over Rikers Island thanks to a recent ruling.

Lawyers representing a group of detainees at the jail had once again pushed for a federal takeover, but a federal judge decided to allow the city to have more time to reform Rikers.

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The prison has been plagued by violence and more than a dozen inmates have died in custody since the beginning of 2022.

The ruling is temporary, and there will be another one in a few months.

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"The judge's ruling today is quite disappointing and alarming considering that 18 people have died this year on Rikers so far," said Kenyatta Muzzanni, Director of Organizing for the Katal Center for Equity, Health, and Justice. "So we are disappointed by this, but we ultimately know that it is up to Mayor Adams to close the island, and we are pushing for him to close it as soon as possible."

The Legal Aid Society said they were also disappointed by the decision.

"The Legal Aid Society will continue to hold the City accountable for the violence and abuse that our incarcerated clients suffer every day," the Legal Aid Society said in a statement.

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Mayor Adams has publicly been against a federal receivership, wanting the city to maintain control of Rikers. 

His Corrections Commissioner also reacted in a statement, saying: "I appreciate that the Court acknowledged our efforts and the progress we have made this year. We have so much more work to do, but we are confident that a receivership would be counterproductive to the many positive changes that are already underway."