Mayor Eric Adams’ administration is rebuffing a request from Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and her colleagues for data on the disaster at Rikers Island.
Final month, Ocasio-Cortez and two congressional colleagues wrote a letter asking the Mayor’s Office of Legal Justice to offer the Home Committee on Oversight and Accountability, which has been investigating metropolis jails since 2021, info on correction officers’ use of power, overdoses, self-harm incidents, staffing absences, and disciplinary actions in opposition to staffing.
On Tuesday, committee Democrats stated in a Twitter thread that town wasn’t cooperating. They criticized the Division of Correction for an general lack of “commitment to transparency,” and cited a Gothamist article in regards to the division not too long ago blocking an oversight company from accessing video footage from Rikers. The tweets accused Correction Commissioner Louis Molina, who stated in 2021 that he was “unequivocally committed to transparency and restoring public trust in this agency,” of not following by way of on his promise.
The intraparty battle started in December, when congressional Democrats despatched a letter to Deanna Logan, director of the Mayor’s Office of Legal Justice, in regards to the “humanitarian crisis” in metropolis jails. It criticized the Adams administration for its stewardship of Rikers: “Despite reassurances that the city is working to improve conditions at Rikers, more than a year later those improvements have not materialized.”
On the time, the congressional representatives have been alarmed over an unprecedented settlement between metropolis legal professionals and Steve Martin, the federal monitor who oversees Rikers, to maintain secret an upcoming report containing jails data about violence, detainee deaths, safety lapses, staffing supervision issues, and the smuggling of contraband. The committee criticized Martin for in search of to maintain the knowledge quiet, and forged doubt on his assertion that its launch would result in misinterpretation.
So the Democrats requested town to offer the committee with info on officer use of power, overdoses, self-harm incidents, staffing absences, and disciplinary actions for 2022, which noticed the best detainee dying charge in 25 years.
The representatives — Ocasio-Cortez, Jamie Raskin and Carolyn Maloney (who has since left office) — sought that info by Jan. 6. An extension was requested till Jan. 13, in response to Ocasio-Cortez’s spokesperson, however that day got here and went and not using a response.
The December letter additionally highlighted a Gothamist investigation that discovered that violence at Rikers has elevated since Martin’s federal monitoring group was put in seven years in the past at a value, thus far, of greater than $18 million to metropolis taxpayers.
As a part of its ongoing investigation, the Home committee has stated it has thus far met with the mayor’s office, the Division of Correction, town’s 5 district legal professional places of work, and advocates.
Requests for remark from the Division of Correction and Mayor’s Office of Legal Justice weren’t returned.