Hochul signs executive order permitting Rikers Island virtual court hearings

ALBANY — The circumstances at Rikers Island have gotten so unhealthy that Gov. Kathy Hochul signed an govt order allowing digital court docket hearings to be carried out on the jail, as an alternative of risking transporting prisoners. 

Hochul stepped in a number of weeks in the past by greenlighting laws allowing the switch of over 100 inmates from city-run Rikers to state-run services, aimed toward creating extra space throughout the 6000-person lock-up going through experiences of escalated violence, deteriorating dwelling circumstances and extreme staffing shortages.

A federal monitor declared the jail system is in a “state of emergency” final Friday.

“When I signed the Less is More Act into law ten days ago, it was the beginning, not the end, of my administration’s work to help find solutions to the crisis on Rikers Island,” mentioned Hochul in a press release.

Earlier this month, Hochul signed a invoice into regulation permitting the early launch of people behind bars due to technical parole violations — similar to lacking curfew or being late for an appointment with a parole officer.

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The Rikers Island jail system is in a “state of emergency,” according to a federal monitor.
The Rikers Island jail system is in a “state of emergency,” in accordance with a federal monitor.
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Though the brand new regulation doesn’t take impact till early 2022, the governor mentioned the expedited transfer was crucial to assist alleviate overcrowding points.

“Improving safety and justice at Rikers is about protecting human rights and human dignity. No incarcerated person, no corrections officer, and no family member should have to endure the reality of Rikers as it exists today, and we must do everything in our power to prevent New Yorkers from languishing in Rikers awaiting their day in court,” she mentioned.

The governor’s workplace mentioned Tuesday thus far, 125 people have been transferred from Rikers to state-run prisons.