Speaker Mark-Viverito and the City Council are committed to reducing violence in our City’s jails, upholding the civil and human rights of people confined in them and ensuring the safety of jail workers.
In 2014, we passed a law requiring detailed reporting on the use of solitary confinement, including the number of inmates placed in solitary, their length of stay, and important information on the quality of life in solitary, such as the number of inmates who are assaulted and whether inmates receive basic services like showers and phone calls.
Last year, we passed six bills to increase the transparency of City jails. These new laws require the Department of Correction (DOC) to report on use of force guidelines, inmate demographics, and visitations. They also create an inmate bill of rights and responsibilities that must be given to all inmates.
To better understand the population at Rikers Island, we passed legislation requiring comprehensive reporting on information never before seen by the public, including how many people are in jail, what they are charged with, their bail amounts, how long they are incarcerated pre-trial, how often bail is posted, and how bail affects the outcome of cases.
Our jail system needs enhanced oversight. That’s why we increased the budget of the DOC’s watchdog, the Board of Correction, by 44%.