On Thursday, the City Council passed a bill requiring Rikers Island officials to issue quarterly reports on inmates in solitary confinement.
The bill follows public revelations of chronic abuse and misconduct, including this month’s 79-page report from the United States Attorney’s Office in Manhattan which describes the correctional officers’ disturbing culture of violence, often targeting juvenile inmates.
CBS New York reports:
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 reported information will be made available to legislators on a city government website. The legislation is awaiting the mayor’s signature and will take effect this year.
Though the city has outlawed solitary confinement as punishment for inmates with mental illnesses like schizophrenia and bipolar disorder this year, undiagnosed prisoners and those with “less severe” mental illness still end up in “the bing.” It’s hell, it’s inhumane and it’s apprehensible that reporting hasn’t been enforced until now.
Meanwhile, Rikers guards it is nearly impossible to criminally punish the guards’ fatal use of excessive force. There are also several ongoing lawsuits over the prison’s corrupt and decrepit medical care, including the case of 19-year-old Andy Henriquez who died in solitary confinement from a torn aorta, in severe pain, as guards ignored his multiple requests to see a doctor and his fellow inmates’ cries for help. (Image: @sheriffaj)