City Council Passes Bill That Would Require Reports On Rikers Island Solitary Confinement
NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The New York City Council has passed a bill that would force correction officials to regularly publish information about Rikers Island inmates in solitary confinement.
The legislation was approved Thursday and awaits Mayor Bill de Blasio’s signature.
Under the bill, the Department of Correction would issue four reports annually with the number of inmates in solitary, why and for how long, whether they ever attempted suicide or were assaulted, and the state of their mental health.
The information would be posted on the New York City government website so legislators can decide whether changes need to be made, WCBS 880’s Rich Lamb reported.
The legislation comes in the wake of a firestorm of brutality revelations at Rikers Island.
“The personal stories that we heard, the conditions at Rikers Island that we witnessed and the evidence of mistreatment and torture collected by the U.S. attorney has compelled us as a council to act,” said Councilman Daniel Dromm, D-Queens, who sponsored the legislation.
Norman Seabrook, president of the Correction Officers’ Benevolent Association, calls the bill “arbitrary and capricious” — asking officers to do what he says they’re already doing.
U.S. Attorney Prett Bharara recently issued a scathing report saying there is a deep-seeded culture of violence by guards, especially against juvenile male inmates, and excessive use of solitary confinement.
On Wednesday, city Comptroller Scott Stringer released a report showing a sharp increase in claims against the Correction Department.
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