NYC jail officials to move young inmates to controversial Rikers Island facility


NYC corrections officials plan to move over 1,000 young inmates to a single Rikers Island facility. Despite Rikers’ alarming quantity of inmate deaths and abuses by guards, the jail’s commissioner says that the plan “will work for New York.”

The plan is to be introduced to the jail oversight board Tuesday, but when permitted, greater than 1,000 “hard-to-manage inmates ages 18 to 21” can be separated from older detainees and transferred to Rikers Island by the tip of the yr, the Associated Press reported.

The plan comes amid rising frustration amongst officials that ranges of violence are rising.

The new housing plan relies on a classification device that compares an inmate’s dangerousness, age, gang affiliation and police information. This helps officials put equally located inmates in models the place they are going to take hours of courses and further packages to examine for sensible accreditations, just like the Occupational Safety and Health Administration certification, for instance.

One of the ways is to combine sure rival gang members in such models which, Ponte mentioned, creates a steadiness of energy that retains the peace.

Such models for probably the most harmful prisoners could have two correction officers per 25 inmates, in accordance to court-mandated ratios.

There are about 1,200 inmates at Rikers aged between 18 and 21. About 400 of these inmates are gang members answerable for roughly 34 % of inmate assaults the place a weapon is used, in accordance to AP. However, the 1,200 characterize simply 12 % of about 10,000 inmates within the jail system.

The new juvenile facility is not going to have solitary confinement and inmates can be required to a have a minimal of 5 hours of behavioral remedy a day, in addition to counseling.

The plan’s essential purpose is to maintain the inmates busy for an extended time period in the course of the day.

“We strongly believe that the 18- to 21-year-old brain is about the same” as a juvenile’s, Correction Commissioner Joseph Ponte instructed AP. “I’m very confident that this model will work well for us in New York.”

According to Ponte, the brand new housing plan consists of inmates of ages 19 to 21 based mostly on neuroscientists’ principle that brains of young adults don’t kind till 25 years of age, and that 23-hour isolation as a punishment does extra hurt than good for that group of inmates.

Since Ponte was appointed by Mayor Bill de Blasio in March 2014, the variety of young grownup inmates in solitary confinement went down from 162 to 50, in accordance to officials.

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