“The continued deaths and violence on Rikers Island make clear that it remains unsafe for everyone there, and the relentless harm inflicted on detainees and staff alike underscores the seriousness of this crisis.
“I was deeply disturbed and saddened to learn of the death of Gilberto Garcia while in custody on Rikers Island, and offer my condolences to his family, friends and community. Just like the 17 other detainees who lost their lives in our city’s jails this year, he should still be alive. Yet, another family is now forced to grieve the loss of their loved one.
“On the same day as Gilberto’s death, a Department of Correction officer was attacked and seriously injured by a detainee at the Anna M. Kross Center on Rikers Island in an act of unacceptable violence. I send my prayers for the officer’s speedy recovery and to his family. As the daughter of a former correction officer who worked on Rikers, I know the challenges faced and sacrifices made by these dedicated public servants and their families – they also deserve to be safe.
“Our city’s jail system needs drastic reform, and there has unquestionably and understandably been a loss of confidence by the public and this Council that the current situation will improve without it. The Council is closely reviewing the federal monitor’s new report, submitted to federal court on Friday, and is exploring next steps to help address the crisis on Rikers as the court’s status conference approaches in the next two weeks.”