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NYC’s Rikers Should Go Into Receivership, Some Advocates and Officials Say

Court-ordered reforms at the troubled jail complex where 14 people have died this year aren’t showing any progress.

New York’s Rikers Island facility in June 2022.

New York’s Rikers Island facility in June 2022.

Photo by Ed Jones/AFP via Getty Images

New York City’s Rikers Island jail complex is on pace to exceed last year’s number of deaths in custody, and some advocates and officials say it’s time for a federal judge to appoint a third party to run the troubled facilities. 

The city’s Department of Correction is under a court mandate to reform Rikers, but critics say there are few signs of progress in the seven years since the shakeup was ordered: The system continues to struggle with violence, allegations of abuse and neglect of prisoners, high absenteeism among staff, and other issues.