A Queens councilman requested Gov. Kathy Hochul to activate the Nationwide Guard to Rikers Island amid a staffing crunch that’s led to harmful and chaotic situations for each inmates and workers.
Councilman Robert Holden (D-Queens) made the request to the governor in a Friday letter that mentioned “violence, demise and mayhem are actually an everyday prevalence on the facility.”
“Please activate the Nationwide Guard to help the overstretched Division of Correction Officers at Rikers Island Correctional Facility,” Holden wrote within the missive.
“To maintain each inmates and officers secure, the ability wants extra workers.”
Holden pointed to a string of deaths on the facility — ten in simply 9 months, together with no less than one which occurred from a drug overdose — and mentioned each inmate advocates and union brass have been asking for assist however Mayor Invoice de Blasio “has ignored” their pleas.
“The Metropolis Council, federal monitor, union, advocates and inmates themselves have all raised the alarm. Nothing modifications. As Governor, you possibly can acknowledge the emergency we face and mobilize the Nationwide Guard. Different states mobilized Nationwide Guard models in the course of the COVID pandemic to supply extra assist to their jail techniques,” Holden implored.
“The New York Nationwide Guard has navy police models that may definitely complement present safety on the jail. Please act instantly, earlier than one other life is misplaced.”
On Monday, following a chaotic tour of the ability for elected officers that included an inmate’s tried suicide in entrance of two state meeting members, Holden doubled down on his request.
“The Mayor has already checked out, deserted our hardworking Division of Correction Officers and damaged his guarantees. They’re nonetheless being compelled to work triple shifts, making their jobs much more harmful,” Holden instructed The Submit.
“An absence of management and poor insurance policies have made the Rikers Island facility harmful, not the situation. New York’s Boldest want respectable working situations. Inmates and officers alike are at risk of being harm or killed.”
Holden’s workplace mentioned Hochul is but to answer to the request. The governor’s workplace didn’t instantly return a request for remark.