Despite a recent change by the city that no longer allows solitary confinement for juveniles, Funkhouser and other activists believe no youths should be jailed at Rikers and that the practice should be banned for all inmates.
In the wake of a scathing federal review of New York City jails, city lawmakers grilled the city’s correction commissioner Wednesday about the treatment of juvenile inmates on Rikers Island.
A New York City civilian jail oversight board is being criticized for having no minorities or experts in mental illness.
Citing statistics showing that people with mental health problems tend to spend extended time behind bars for lack of bail money, officials said they aimed to do better at assessing defendants’ psychiatric needs and meeting them in the least restrictive setting that’s appropriate.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has cast the state’s juvenile detention system in harsh, almost Dickensian light as a violation of civil rights existing only to satisfy public employee unions.
New York City’s correction department says it plans to reopen a jail in downtown Brooklyn, but will forego plans to double its size.