Sign the Petition to Mayor Adams:

SHUT RIKERS NOW

SHUT RIKERS NOW

Conditions at Rikers Island Jail Complex are horrific.

Since Eric Adams became mayor, nearly 30 incarcerated people have died in city jails. Federal officials have warned that incarcerated people and corrections staff at Rikers face an “imminent risk of harm on a daily basis.”

Sign the petition to tell Mayor Adams – shut Rikers now!

“For me, it’s a constant reminder to hear the atrocities that continue to take place on Rikers. The mothers like mine that are ripped apart whether or not it’s their son who is killed while at Rikers because of the fear that it may be their child next. They, like Kalief, shouldn’t die in vain. I plead with you – when is too much enough? We must, for the sake of the humans on Riker’s, shut it down, now!”

Akeem Browder, brother of Kalief Browder

“I was incarcerated at Rikers, and I have been exposed to the violence and mistreatment found there. The horrors that you see within the walls of Rikers are unimaginable. Absolutely no one deserves to go there…. Mayor Eric Adams must shut down Rikers Island!”

Henry Robinson, Member, Katal Center

“I’ve been incarcerated on Rikers, and I’ve experienced firsthand the awful conditions, the violence, the disregard for human life. Rikers has been a hellhole for decades. Rikers must be shut down.”

Donna Hylton, Founder and President, A Little Piece of Light

“I have been to Rikers in the past and can tell you first-hand that it is unsafe for anyone to be detained there. The conditions at Rikers have only gotten worse. New Yorkers and their families are struggling, we need the mayor to shut down Rikers and invest in mental health and housing.”

Luke Steele, Member, Katal Center

“The conditions at Rikers are horrific. My son is 20 years old and has been detained at Rikers for a year now. As a mother, I cannot put into words how scared I am for him. I don’t sleep at night worrying about his safety. No parent wants to ever get a call to let them know that their child has been hurt or worse that they have died… Mayor Adams must decarcerate NYC jails and shut down Rikers.”

Janelle Roberts, Member, Katal Center

“I am so sick and tired of getting the news that yet another person passed away at Rikers. My friend was in Rikers. They were denied bail because our Mayor and the legal system does not care about poor Black and Brown families. What we need now is action. We demand that Mayor Eric Adams shut down Rikers Island before we lose another soul.”

Kaeshalee Vega, Member, Katal Center

UNDER MAYOR ERIC ADAMS conditions at Rikers have gotten worse

UNDER MAYOR ERIC ADAMS conditions at Rikers have gotten worse

At least 29 people have died in the city jail system since Adams became mayor in 2022. But the actual number of deaths is unknown, because under Mayor Adams, the Department of Correction (DOC) has stopped reporting deaths to the public.

The people incarcerated at Rikers are at a grave risk of immediate harm

Federal Judge Laura Taylor Swain
August 10, 2023

Rikers

Racist, Harmful, Unjust, Costly

0%
of detainees at rikers are Black and LatinO even though these groups represent only about half the city’s population.* Racism is built into the system.
0%+
of those incarcerated have been diagnosed with a mental health condition and have little to no access to meaningful care while locked up.**
0%+
of people incarcerated at Rikers haven’t been convicted: the majority of whom are being held pretrial while considered innocent because, unlike those who have money, they can’t afford bail.***
$0
The cost of incarcerating a person for a year in NYC jails. Meanwhile, budgets for the City’s schools and social services are being cut to the bone.****
0%
of detainees at rikers are Black and LatinO even though these groups represent only about half the city’s population.* Racism is built into the system.
0%+
of those incarcerated have been diagnosed with a mental health condition and have little to no access to meaningful care while locked up.**
0%+
of people incarcerated at Rikers haven’t been convicted: the majority of whom are being held pretrial while considered innocent because, unlike those who have money, they can’t afford bail.***
$0
The cost of incarcerating a person for a year in NYC jails. Meanwhile, budgets for the City’s schools and social services are being cut to the bone.****

*United States Census Bureau. “Quick Facts: New York City, New York.” July 1, 2021.; Bruce Western, Jaclyn Davis, Flavien Ganter, and Natalie Smith. “The Cumulative Risk of Jail Incarceration.” PNAS 118, No. 16. (2021). pnas.2023429118; Reuven Blau.“Racial Gap in City Jails Has Only Gotten Worse, John Jay Study Finds.” The City. March 2, 2023.
**Jan Ransom and Jonah E. Bromwich. “ ‘I Just Want to Be Normal’: A Mentally Ill Man’s Death at Rikers.” The New York Times. September 27, 2021., citing Anthony Shorris and Mindy Tarlow. Preliminary Mayor’s Management Report, February 2016. 62.
***As of November 2022, more than 84 percent of the people detained on Rikers Island were there pretrial. Michael Rempel. Decarceration in the Bail Reform Era: New York City’s Changing Jail Population Since 2019. John Jay College, Data Collaborative for Justice. December 2022.
****New York City Comptroller. “Comptroller Stringer: Cost of Incarceration per Person in New York City Skyrockets to All-Time High.” December 6,2021.
Sahalie Donaldson. “What’s Up with the New York City Schools Budget This Year?” City & State New York. May 4, 2023; Celina Su. “Eric Adams Is Trying to Push More Austerity on New Yorkers Through His Executive Budget.” Jacobin. May 5, 2023.

MAYOR ADAMS WANTS RIKERS TO STAY OPEN

In 2017, city officials finally agreed with community demands to shut down Rikers. In 2019, the city adopted a plan to close Rikers, which requires a reduction in the city jail population. Despite pledging his support when he campaigned, Mayor Adams has pushed back on the 2019 plan and worked to lock up more Black, brown, and low-income people.

We cannot allow Mayor Adam to abandon the City’s commitment to close Rikers.

SHUT RIKERS NOW

The appalling problems at Rikers Island aren’t new – they are all too familiar and dramatically underscore that the city needs alternatives to jail. With an unrelenting crisis at Rikers marked by a rapidly rising death toll, we need urgent action to save lives.

CUT

CUT the number of people held on Rikers and other city jails – and cut the budgets used for caging people.

SHUT

SHUT down the Rikers Island jail complex

INVEST

INVEST in real community safety: housing, health care, education, and jobs

#ShutRikers #CutShutInvestNY

GET INVOLVED

For more information and to get involved, please contact Melanie Dominguez: