New York Gov. Kathy Hochul demanded Friday that Rikers Islands set 191 prisoners free and that the Department of Corrections transfer 200 of them to state prison facilities, NY Daily News reported.
The 191 convicts she requested to be set free are imprisoned for violating parole, which includes missing curfew, being late for an appointment or consuming alcohol, according to NY Daily News. Hochul said the 191 inmates should not have been at Rikers Island, NY Daily News reported. (RELATED: Rikers Island Inmates Partying, Brawling, Fatally Overdosing Amid Staffing Crisis: REPORT)
🧵 I want to share more about what I witnessed at Rikers Island yesterday. We broke into groups to inspect different parts of the sprawling facility. I spent several hours at the Otis Bantum Correctional Center. https://t.co/SAiz2iI8hl
— Emily Gallagher (@EmilyAssembly) September 14, 2021
“It doesn’t make us any safer,” Hochul said in a press conference at her Midtown Manhattan office, according to NY Daily News. “These people weren’t a danger in the first place.”
Hochul signed a bill Friday that enables more prisoners to go free due to worsening conditions at Rikers Island, according to NY Daily News. She is also demanding the Department of Corrections start transporting 200 Rikers Island inmates into state facilities as part of the “Less Is More Act,” NY Daily News reported. The “Less Is More Act” will be implemented March 2022 and prohibits parole violators from being imprisoned again.
In 2021 alone, 10 Rikers Island inmates died due to overcrowding and staffing shortages, according to NY Daily News. State legislators reported seeing garbage, fecal matter, rotting food, urine and dead cockroaches at Rikers Island. Some legislators said some inmates said they did not receive food, bathrooms, or medication for more than a week.
“How does this hell on earth exist today?” Hochul said Friday, NY Daily News reported. “This questions who we are as people.”