Call for end to cash bail at Rikers Island prison facility
Elected officials and community advocates gathered outside the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office to demand an end to cash bail.
The officials and advocates protested that seeking bail in almost every eligible case is one of the factors that is leading to the torture and death that has happened on Rikers Island.
Rikers Island has previously been in the news for the alleged deplorable and sometimes fatal conditions for their prisoners. Correction officers have also expressed concerns and frustrations with working conditions, many saying that this is due to too many people being housed at the jail because of cash bail.
The current bail reform law went into effect in 2020, but was amended a few months later. Experts say cash bail was eliminated at first and then re-introduced after reports of criminals becoming repeat offenders while awaiting trial.
News 12 was been told that those speaking out against the cash bail practices are planning to sign an open letter to demand an end to cash bail practices and stop sending New Yorkers accused of crime to Rikers Island entirely.
Over 12 prisoners have died in Department of Correction custody this year alone, and since April 2020, the number of people being held at the jail for pre-trial has increased by almost two thousand.