Williams Responds To The Twelfth Death On Rikers Island In 2021, The Second In A Week And Third In A Month

September 22nd, 2021

Press Release

"Another incarcerated person has lost their life today, another family is mourning. Twelve people so far this year, three in the last month, have been sentenced to death on Rikers Island. I would be speechless in horror and grief if I were not so angry, and so heartbroken that we have reached this point. The Mayor and Governor’s refusal to see these conditions in person is at this point a denial of responsibility – and an abdication of duty by a Mayor who hasn't visited in his entire second term.

"Neither executive is fully responsible for the long decline in conditions on Rikers, but both are responsible for what happens next – and any confidence in the Mayor to lead through an emergency exacerbated by his inaction is evaporating by the hour. As lives are lost and this spiral of inhumanity continues unabated, it is time for the Mayor and Governor to join me in asking the federal government to provide sufficient resources and personnel to administer the medical and other humanitarian support this crisis mandates, with the state supplementing where possible. This must be done in coordination with legal support from the Attorney General’s office, alongside efforts to return corrections staff to work with safety as a priority, expedite decarceration, and ultimately close Rikers."

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