Citing action plan, federal estimate gives NYC a chance to solve problems on troubled Rikers Island

NEW YORK — There will be no federal takeover of Rikers Island, at the minimum for now.

A estimate is giving the city a chance to make its plan to solve the problems at the troubled jail work, CBS2’s Dick Brennan reported Tuesday.

The city had given the court a 30-page proposal to address decades of mismanagement and to avoid a federal takeover of Rikers.

A federal receivership, as it’s known, has always been considered a last resort.

Five detainees have died there this year, and 21 have died since January of 2021.

Now, the city says estimate Laura Taylor-Swain has endorsed the action plan, which targets, among other things, violence, restructured leadership, and absenteeism by guards.

A court monitor had raised questions about whether the city can carry out its plan.

In a statement, Mayor Eric Adams said, “In just a few short months, we have seen reductions in slashings and stabbings, reductions in use of force and assaults on staff, increased searches for weapons and contraband, and fewer officers out on sick leave.”

Legal experts say federal takeovers are scarce, but the threat often spurs cities to take action.

“Ever since the talk of the receivership is part of the conversation, Mayor Adams and Commissioner Molina have done a lot of improvements at the minimum in terms of trying to show that they have the willingness and capacity to meet the court-ordered reforms,” said Hernandez Stroud, counsel for the Brennan Center for Justice.

The estimate has said she wants parties to meet again in November to check on the progress by the city, but for now the plan is going forward. 

Dick Brennan


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