New York

Rikers detainees cannot appear in court due to lack of NYC prison staff

The crisis in staffing in the city’s troubled prison system has been so devastating that many detainees have not appeared in court, according to prison sources and a group of public defenders.

Only 34 of the 52 people who filed the proceedings in the Queens Criminal Court on Tuesday arrived there from a local lockup at 3:00 pm.

Similar failures in transporting detainees have plagued city courts in recent weeks, says a public defender.

“This is a big problem and it’s getting worse every day,” said Tim Launtree, head of the Queens Criminal Tribunal Office of the Legal Assistance Association.

Rountree said he received a message from three lawyers on Tuesday asking if he knew why the client wasn’t brought to court.

“The prisons are overwhelmed and understaffed,” said Joe Russo, Deputy Assistant Secretary / Chairman of the Deputy Secretary Association.

He said he recently saw four packed orthodontic buses waiting outside the Rikers Island facility. According to Russo, the insider staff was too busy to get the detainees off the bus.

Over 1,000 prison officers have called for illness on certain days in the past few months, forcing others to work in two, and sometimes three, shifts.With death self harm The case is occurring among detainees, spurring a federal observer’s emergency report filed last month. “Disorder and chaos” It’s making noise in the city prison.

Mayor’s oath “necessary action”

The day after a group of politicians visited a scandal-damaged island and blamed the situation, a delay in justice was revealed. Some officials say they have witnessed an attempted suicide.A politician becomes Governor Kathy Hokul Send National Guard To help Rikers.

Mayor Bill de Blasio will move New York City Police officers to court on Tuesday with five “emergency Rikers Relief” plans calling for the release of corrective officers stationed there and return to prisons on Rikers Island and other cities. Announced.

“New York City will take all necessary steps to keep everyone safe throughout the judicial system,” De Blasio said in a statement. “These reforms will do just that, both by taking immediate steps to bring officers back to work and by making deeper reforms to reduce the number of New Yorkers imprisoned.”

He also accused the court system of increasing the number of people behind the court.

“We need to put a larger criminal justice system into operation,” he told reporters, saying that 1,500 people had been detained for over a year waiting for the trial to begin.

The mayor said he plans to “strengthen the accountability of AWOL staff” with a 30-day automatic outage for those who do not commute. City prison officers have “unlimited” sick leave and can go out as long as medically necessary.

Prison boss Vincent Sirardi
John Jay College / YouTube

City Orthodontic Commissioner Vincent Sirardi has recently begun requiring all staff complaining of illness to be examined by a city doctor. According to Schiraldi, the move will reduce the number of absentees and will soon leave staff due to long-term sick leave.

Prison supporters condemned the mayor’s plans, arguing that the only way to mitigate the crisis was to free hundreds of people facing low-level crime.

“We know what fundamental changes are really needed. We need a mayor who faces hidden racism and tells a complete lie from law enforcement. “We will,” said Darren Mack, co-director of the Freedom Agenda, a condemnation group.

The Legal Assistance Association seeks immediate release of more than 250 people who have served in less than a year for low-level crimes. According to a group of advocates, authorities need to request that the remaining short text be provided when the work is released.

“It is simply conscientious and infeasible that important and immediate measures to imprison Rikers Island and other local prisons are not a fundamental part of this plan,” said the Legal Assistance Association’s criminal defense practice. Said Tina Luongo, who heads the.

“I can’t see the end”

According to Russo, who represents the chief prison officer, the staffing crisis is that prison staff are using the department’s centralized bus system to transfer detainees to the Rikers Island area or to hospitals rather than in court. Means.

In the past, people traveling around the island and seeking medical assistance were transported via vans in each of the island’s 10 prisons, Russo said.

For some, the lack of transportation meant that the grand jury could not testify before it could decide not to allow them to proceed with criminal proceedings.

Yung-Mi Lee, Director of Legal Affairs at Brooklyn Defender Services, said:

Manhattan Criminal Court in Lower Manhattan, September 14, 2021.

Lower Manhattan Manhattan Criminal Court
Hiram Alejandro Durand / THE CITY

According to Lee and other public defenders, public defenders and judges are said to have refused detainees to come to court or appear on video from prison food. However, according to public defenders, their clients later say they were not offered a ride.

Prison sources also said detainees were absent from virtual court hearings because there were not enough police officers to escort them in areas with video connections.

“These excuses are … not accurate,” Rountree said. “One is the lack of staff, but the other is to blame the non-production of the story that has been created. It insults the injury.”

“This is a complete shutdown of the lawyer’s ability to communicate with clients,” he added. “I can’t see the end.”

In one example, defense lawyer Martha Grieco said her client did not appear on four court days in June and once this month.

“I couldn’t share my findings [information] Or a new offer made by DA, “she said, saying she had to postpone the trial until she could meet her client at Rikers.

A corrections bureau spokesperson has summarized the number of court dates missed in the last few months. However, the city hall refused to publish the fig, according to sources familiar with the internal debate.

A De Blasio spokesman said he hadn’t seen the data, but would check it.

Death and confusion

In May, the shortage of prison officers Very tough The prison official blocked a facility on Rikers Island that housed detainees with severe mental illness.

According to corrections bureau records, about 1,200 prison officers complained of illness that day, and about 700 more were in medically restricted duties for a variety of health reasons. This forced some police officers to work in three or four shifts.

A family of men who died in a cell on Rikers Island a month later on Monday Charged In a court petition that if the exhausted prison officer overseeing him did not leave his post 15 hours ago, he would still be alive.

According to union officials, officials in the area had been working for more than 20 hours without relief before leaving their jobs and begged for a replacement.

Rikers detainees cannot appear in court due to lack of NYC prison staff

Source link Rikers detainees cannot appear in court due to lack of NYC prison staff

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