NYC transfers incarcerated women, trans people from Rikers to state facilities in Hudson Valley
New York City is transferring more than 200 incarcerated women and trans people from Rikers Island to state facilities in the Hudson Valley.
It's part of an effort to address the ongoing crisis at the New York City jail.
Advocates say they think it's a terrible idea and that the move will have devastating consequences for the people it's meant to help.
Beginning Monday, the New York City Department of Correction began transferring up to 20 incarcerated people twice a week from Rikers Island to Bedford Hills Correctional Facility and Taconic Correctional Facility - both in northern Westchester.
"How do you respond to a crisis? You respond by picking up a group of people who have not had due process and slapping them down in a sentenced facility," says criminal justice advocate Anisah Sabur.
Sabur is against the temporary solution, which is the result of an agreement made last week between Gov. Kathy Hochul and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.
Anisah spent time at both Rikers and the Taconic facility, and says conditions are similar.
"This is putting a Band-Aid on a gunshot wound," says Sabur.
The transfer is part of the governor's "Less is More Act," which is meant to prevent unnecessary detentions at Rikers. Thirteen people have died this year at the city jail.
"You are not really looking at the systemic issue that is happening here," says Sabur.
Transferees will be integrated into the existing populations at both state facilities.
The governor says they will have access to the same services as offered at Rikers.
De Blasio says it's a temporary fix as the city works toward a fairer, more humane justice system.