You are reading

More Than 200 Incarcerated Women and Trans Individuals to be Transferred from Rikers to State Jails

Rikers Island sign (Photo: QueensPost)

Oct. 13, 2021 By Allie Griffin

More than 200 women and trans individuals incarcerated at Rikers Island will be moved to state-run jails starting next week, Mayor Bill de Blasio and Gov. Kathy Hochul announced Wednesday.

About 230 individuals will be moved to two facilities in Westchester both to protect them and help alleviate ongoing issues at the Rikers Island jail facility.

“I am especially heartened that the State is able to assist some of the most vulnerable populations on Rikers,” Hochul said in a statement Wednesday. “And today, I am proud to announce the State’s agreement with the City to temporarily move the majority of these populations off Rikers and into safer State facilities, and I thank the City for its partnership on this important step.”

The incarcerated will be transferred in groups of 10 to 20 at a time, twice per week beginning the week of Oct. 18. They will be placed at either the Bedford Hills Correctional Facility or the Taconic Correctional Facility.

“These actions will further help ease staffing concerns, capacity constraints, and improve safety for several hundred detainees until such time that the City can identify and implement a permanent solution that will bring justice to the situation at Rikers,” Hochul said.

The women and trans individuals will undergo various assessments — including medical, mental, academic, vocational and substance use assessments — upon arrival at their new facilities. They will then be assigned to programs or work assignments based on their needs.

De Blasio thanked Hochul for the state’s assistance.

“New York City is committed to forging a fairer, more humane justice system,” he said in a statement. “I’m proud to work with Governor Hochul on this initiative, which will provide important relief for the situation on Rikers.”

The NY Department of Corrections will provide daily transportation from New York City to the Westchester facilities for the inmates’ visitors — with one pick-up/drop-off location per borough. There will be pick-ups twice a day at each location beginning Oct. 22.

The 230 transfers, however, are only temporary. Hochul, therefore, has tasked the NYY DOC to advise the city on possible long-term solutions.

The transfers follow numerous reports of inhumane conditions on Rikers Island and nearly a dozen deaths at the detention center this year.

To lessen the number of inmates incarcerated at Rikers Island, Hochul recently signed the Less is More Act — which aims to prevent detentions for minor or technical violations — into law. To date, 239 individuals have been released from Rikers as a result of the law.

The city plans to close down Rikers by 2027 and replace it with four jails, one in each borough except Staten Island. The Queens jail is slated to be constructed in Kew Gardens nearby Queens Borough Hall and Queens Criminal Court.

email the author: [email protected]
No comments yet

Leave a Comment
Reply to this Comment

All comments are subject to moderation before being posted.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Recent News

Long Island City teen sentenced in fatal shooting of ‘beloved’ school teacher at Queensbridge Houses in 2020: DA

A Long Island City man on Friday, Jan. 28, was sentenced to 19 years in prison for the 2020 fatal shooting of a public school social studies teacher who was out walking his dog when he was caught in the crossfire during a confrontation between gang rivals in broad daylight, just blocks from his home, according to Queens District Attorney’s office.

Ike Ford, 19, of 12th Street, in Long Island City, pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the first degree before Queens Supreme Court Justice Kenneth Holder. The teacher, George Rosa, 53, was shot in his abdomen by a stray bullet fired by Ford, who was just 17 years old at the time of the shooting but was sentenced as an adult given the severity of the crime, according to Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz.

LaGuardia Community College receives federal funding to expand vocational training for the unemployed

LaGuardia Community College recently received more than $400,000 in federal funding to enhance and expand vocational training for underemployed New Yorkers in a city that is still working to recover from COVID-19 pandemic-induced job loss. The support was secured by U.S. Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez and former Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney.

LaGuardia Community College President Kenneth Adams explained that the school lost nearly a quarter of its students at the height of the pandemic due to the economic effects of the lockdown on low-income Queens households.

BP launches new advisory panel for youth to become civically engaged in the future of Queens

In an effort to get more young people involved in civics, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards has created a new advisory panel known as the Youth and Young Adult Council to introduce the “youngest and fiercest” community advocates to both community service and organization.

Members of the advisory body will advocate concerns through means of community engagement by participating in one of two cohorts. The first will be made up of high school representatives between the ages of 13 and 17, while the second cohort will be comprised of young adults between the ages of 18 and 25.

These Queens eateries are participating in the upcoming NYC Restaurant Week

NYC Restaurant Week is underway, so nix that skillet and bring family and friends to your favorite neighborhood spot, or get inspired and break bread somewhere new and different. During this special citywide culinary event, food-lovers will enjoy curated menus and prix-fixe prices that are easy on the wallet.

Bookings began on Jan. 17 and are available until Feb. 12, and you can reserve a table at 30 participating Queens restaurants, along with hundreds more across the five boroughs.