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CBS2 Goes Inside Rikers Island To See How The Department Of Correction Is Trying To Turn Things Around – CBS New York

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The Manhattan District Legal professional is advising prosecutors to not ask for bail for sure non-violent offenses that would put somebody on Rikers Island.

This comes as alarms have been raised in regards to the situations there.

READ MORE: Mayor De Blasio Criticized For Not Speaking To Inmates, Correction Officers During Visit To Rikers Island

CBS2’s Aundrea Cline-Thomas obtained an unique look inside to see how the Department of Correction is attempting to show issues round.

The town has not allowed cameras outdoors of the principle workplace on Rikers Island throughout this disaster till Wednesday.

CBS2 was restricted in the place we might go and we weren’t allowed to speak to detainees on digital camera, however we have been capable of spend hours with the commissioner and others on the bottom and ask them to handle a few of many considerations.

Flanked by clergy who gathered on Rikers Island, Commissioner Vincent Schiraldi learn the names of detainees who died in custody and supplied an sudden apology.

“On behalf of myself, on the division, on metropolis of New York and for the corrections subject, I wish to apologize for mass incarceration,” he mentioned.

With simply three months on the job, the commissioner is underneath immense strain to do what his predecessors couldn’t because the deaths, violence and employees shortages have put the division underneath a microscope.

On Wednesday, he referred to as in clergy to jumpstart the rehabilitative course of with a paintbrush on the advanced that homes younger grownup detainees.

It’s the place violence is the worst.

“I’m portray. I’m attempting to not, uh, um, simply undergo all of the ideas which might be in my head of the time I used to be right here,” volunteer Seneca Soler mentioned.

For Soler and his mom, Elsa Valentin Mendez, their service was private.

“To really see that little cell that they’re in, it breaks my coronary heart,” Valentin Mendez mentioned.

READ MORE: NYC Congressional Representatives Call On President Biden To Intervene In Rikers Island Crisis

The Division of Correction is clearing out one wing at a time. Including a recent coat of paint, new cell doorways and furnishings is simply a part of the plan.

“Devoted employees that all the time works with the identical younger folks each week so that they get to know them, know their issues and know the right way to assist them. Applications morning, midday and night time,” Schiraldi mentioned.

The purpose is to handle the violence – however is that sufficient?

“With elected leaders coming over the previous few weeks, they’re coming again with horrific tales, with feces on the bottom, folks being held in showers. Why is it so dangerous?” Cline-Thomas requested.

“I’m ashamed of what these legislators obtained to see, however I’m not simply going to wallow in disgrace. My job is to repair stuff,” Schiraldi mentioned.

Correction officers returning to work has been central to each answer.

Rahman Telfair is among the many majority that by no means left.

“This company, it really works. It actually does. So long as we’re given the instruments and the power to do our job, we’ll work and we’ll do what we’re imagined to do,” he mentioned.

Work that’s the final effort for thus many to salvage any hope for the longer term.

“There so many extra right here that want that assist and that encouragement,” Valentin Mendez mentioned.

Cline-Thomas spoke to a detainee who has been on Rikers Island for 16 months and requested him what he thought of all these efforts. He mentioned it’s good, nevertheless it’s nonetheless jail.

Cline-Thomas additionally requested the commissioner what he would say to individuals who watch the story and assume that is simply window dressing or show-and-tell. He says needs to be judged not on what he says, however his outcomes.

MORE NEWS: Mayor De Blasio Visits Rikers Island Amid Mounting Pressure To Address Conditions For Inmates, Correction Officers

Each of the adjustments have solely been in place for about two weeks, so solely time will inform. The query is how a lot time do they actually have?

https://newyork.cbslocal.com/2021/09/29/exclusive-look-inside-rikers-island-department-of-correction/ | CBS2 Goes Inside Rikers Island To See How The Division Of Correction Is Making an attempt To Flip Issues Round – CBS New York

Huynh Nguyen

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