NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Amid continued scrutiny of problems at Rikers Island and other New York City jails, Mayor Bill de Blasio said bluntly that the situation in the city’s Correction Department is “very bad.”
Speaking to reporters following remarks at the United Nations on Tuesday, de Blasio reiterated that his administration inherited “an incredibly problematic situation” in the nation’s second-largest jails system.
“It’s going to take a lot of work to fix,” de Blasio said. “One thing we’ll always do is tell you bluntly just how bad it is. It’s a very bad situation.”
De Blasio said changes have already been implemented, but more work needs to be done.
“I am clear and sober about the fact that this is a very thorny situation,” the mayor said. “The way things were done in the past is not a milestone for us or a paradigm for us. We are going to look at this from scratch and do everything we can to fix the situation.”
De Blasio was responding to comments made by U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara in Manhattan on Monday, who warned he may take legal action to force meaningful reforms.
“We’re not mincing words about it, it’s an unacceptable situation,” he said.