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Rikers' Island

It's Time to Close Rikers

Glenn Martin | Posted 11.24.2015 | New York
Glenn Martin

I know this culture of brutality and violence firsthand. In 1987, I was detained on Rikers Island. A group of young men in the holding cell tried to steal my jacket. Guards watched but did nothing as I defended myself against five other people. I kept my jacket, but was stabbed four times.

The Way to Make our Prisons Less Porous? Stop Punishing Offending Guards

Chandra Bozelko | Posted 11.11.2015 | Crime
Chandra Bozelko

Justice reform has led the public to believe that we need to focus on who's leaving our nation's correctional facilities. If the last few weeks prove anything, it's that the nation's prisons are porous; we need to worry about what's going in, not who's going out.

Don't Blame Family Ties for Violence at Rikers Island

Brooklyn Defender Services | Posted 10.28.2015 | Crime
Brooklyn Defender Services

New York City is poised to push through new rules restricting visitors and packages to city jails that are likely to have significant negative consequences both inside the jails and for the families they will impact.

U.S. Judge Approves Plan To Reform New York's Riker's Island Jail

Reuters | Benjamin Hart | Posted 10.21.2015 | Politics

New York City will carry out systemic reforms at its troubled Rikers Island jail complex to resolve claims that guards regularly used unnecessary forc...

Calls To Close Down Rikers Island Are Getting Louder

The Huffington Post | Christopher Mathias | Posted 09.09.2015 | Politics

NEW YORK -- Tear down Rikers Island.  That idea -- to close one of the country's largest jail complexes -- has in recent months inspired op-eds, ...

Corruption Officer: A Man's Story From Guard to Inmate

Kelsey Minor | Posted 08.18.2015 | Books
Kelsey Minor

Take the journey with Gary Heyward and you will learn things that you maybe did not know about the jail system but most importantly you will leave fully committed to the fact that there is such thing as second chances.

Kalief Browder's Family To Sue New York City For $20 Million

The Huffington Post | Christopher Mathias | Posted 08.07.2015 | Black Voices

The family of Kalief Browder -- the Bronx teen who spent three years in New York City's notorious Rikers Island jail without a conviction --...

Criminal Justice Reforms Must Include Youth Behind Bars

Liz Ryan | Posted 07.20.2015 | Politics
Liz Ryan

The president and congress should not leave out youth behind bars in efforts to reform criminal justice this year and their actions must focus on reforms at both the federal and state level. Kalief Browder and Andre Sheffield's deaths are a sobering reminder to the president and the congress of the urgency and the need to ensure youth behind bars are not left behind.

The Tragedy of Kalief Browder and the Merits of Pretrial Release

Lindsay Holcomb | Posted 07.02.2015 | College
Lindsay Holcomb

The physical and psychological violence inflicted upon Browder from arrest to release by the same institutions which purport to keep us safe is a stain on the consciousness of every New Yorker as it was carried out in our name as the mangled byproduct of our collective democratic will.

What We Learned From the Nation's First Social Impact Bond

James Anderson | Posted 07.13.2015 | Impact
James Anderson

While we hoped this therapeutic program would have greater impact for youth, the social impact bond proved to be a highly useful tool.

Christopher Mathias

Here's Kalief Browder's Heartbreaking Research Paper On Solitary Confinement | Christopher Mathias | Posted 06.23.2015 | Black Voices

Bronx Community College was proud of Kalief Browder. At the end of the 2014-15 school year, the 22-year-old had an impressive 3.55 grade point ave...

New York City Will Implement Sweeping Reforms For Rikers Island Jail

Reuters | Posted 06.22.2015 | Politics

(Updates with further details on settlement) By Nate Raymond NEW YORK, June 22 (Reuters) - New York City has agreed to ...

Finally, Rikers Guards May Be Banned From Hitting Inmates In The Head

The Huffington Post | Hilary Hanson | Posted 06.19.2015 | Crime

New York City officials and federal prosecutors have tentatively agreed on a plan for reforming Rikers Island, the city’s largest jail. The chan...

Sweeping Reforms Set For Rikers After Damning Reports Of Abuse

The New York Times | Posted 06.18.2015 | Politics

New York City officials have tentatively agreed to sweeping reforms that would remake Rikers Island, including the appointment of a federal monitor to...

The Humanity of the Guilty: A Crime Survivor's Path of Forgiveness

Elizabeth Weill-Greenberg | Posted 06.16.2015 | Crime
Elizabeth Weill-Greenberg

In my work as an advocate and writer, I've encountered countless men and women who are incarcerated for crimes they did not commit. There is a particular tragedy to these cases.

Christopher Mathias

Anger And Grief At Vigil For Kalief Browder | Christopher Mathias | Posted 06.12.2015 | Black Voices

NEW YORK -- A vigil Thursday evening for Kalief Browder -- the young Bronx man who died by suicide this week after spending his teenage years in jail ...

If I Could Talk to Kalief Browder

Shaka Senghor | Posted 06.09.2015 | Crime
Shaka Senghor

The news of your death is heartbreaking. It has stirred my soul and inspired me to action. It is soul stirring because I refuse to let your death be in vain. I cannot, shall not and will not allow your story to go quietly away.

Kalief Browder's Lawyer: Incarceration Was 'Direct Cause' Of Young Man's Suicide

HuffPost Live | Rahel Gebreyes | Posted 06.09.2015 | Black Voices

Kalief Browder, a 22-year-old man from New York City, took his own life this past weekend, an act that his lawyer says is directly connected to the th...

Christopher Mathias

The Death Of Kalief Browder Is An 'American Tragedy Almost Beyond Words' | Christopher Mathias | Posted 06.08.2015 | Black Voices

Kalief Browder, a young man from New York City who had gained national renown in recent years as a symbol of America's broken criminal justice system,...

Death And Neglect At Rikers Women's Jail

The Intercept | ERIKA EICHELBERGER | Posted 06.01.2015 | Politics

This story originally appeared in The Intercept and was was reported was reported in partnership with The Investigative Fund at The Nation Institute, ...

Christopher Mathias

Rikers Island Guard Repeatedly Raped 2 Women Inmates, Says Lawsuit | Christopher Mathias | Posted 05.19.2015 | Crime

A male guard at New York's Rikers Island jail complex repeatedly raped two female inmates, a federal lawsuit filed Tuesday alleges. The suit, whic...

Kalief Browder's Lawyer Reacts To Horrific Video Of Rikers Island Beatings

HuffPost Live | Ryan Buxton | Posted 04.24.2015 | Black Voices

One day after The New Yorker published horrific new video of teenage Rikers Island inmate Kalief Browder being beaten by a corrections officer and oth...

New Video Shows NYC Teen's 3 Years Of Hell In Rikers Island Jail

The Huffington Post | Christopher Mathias | Posted 04.24.2015 | Crime

NEW YORK -- Kalief Browder spent three years in New York City’s notorious Rikers Island jail complex on a robbery charge that was ultimately dismiss...

Christopher Mathias

1,500 Rikers Island Inmates Have Been Behind Bars More Than A Year Without Being Convicted | Christopher Mathias | Posted 04.14.2015 | Politics

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio announced a sweeping plan Tuesday to modernize the city’s criminal justice system and improve conditions in the Rikers...

Violence At Rikers Island Jail Leaves 7 Guards Injured

The Huffington Post | Sebastian Murdock | Posted 02.27.2015 | Crime

A brawl among more than a dozen inmates at a New York City jail plagued by violence has left seven correctional officers injured. On Friday morning...