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Local leader says poor conditions continue at Rikers Island after visit this week

Despite a recent inmate hunger strike and government relief efforts over the last year, poor conditions continue at Rikers Island, according to one local leader who says he popped into the jail this week for a visit.

News 12 Staff

Feb 4, 2022, 3:23 AM

Updated 839 days ago

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Despite a recent inmate hunger strike and government relief efforts over the last year, poor conditions continue at Rikers Island, according to one local leader who says he popped into the jail this week for a visit. 
"They have to use water bottles as shower heads...They haven't been able to go outside and that's because of the lack of staffing,” said Councilmember Kevin Riley. 
Riley tells News 12 these are some of the disheartening conditions on Rikers Island at the moment. 
Riley and Brooklyn Councilmember Chi Osse saw them firsthand during a surprise visit on Tuesday. He says correction officers and inmates also told them what they deal with day to day. 
"It's not a safe environment for the people that are being detained there or the people that are working there,” said Riley. 
Riley said they visited Rikers Island during Black History Month to show support and solidarity and he said he saw inhumane conditions inside. 
He says ongoing staff shortage hurts the quality of life for people who are locked up and for those who work on the inside. 
The Department of Corrections says 1,000 people returned to work on the island since the beginning of the year, but Riley says that’s not enough. 
News 12 reached out to the Correction Officers Benevolent Association for a comment about the officers on the island and hasn’t heard back yet.


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