Media Contact

Arianna Fishman, afishman@nyclu.org, 212-607-3372 

December 1, 2023

NEW YORK – Today, the New York Civil Liberties Union submitted an amicus brief in support of federal receivership at Rikers Island.

In the brief, the NYCLU argues that receivership is consistent with the ultimate goal of permanently closing Rikers Island. The brief argues further that following decades of secrecy from City officials about the constitutional violations at the facility, the court must ensure that the receiver is transparent and responsive to the public regarding its activities and data collection.

“Rikers Island is dangerous, inhumane, and a constitutional nightmare for those in its custody, the vast majority of whom are Black and Brown New Yorkers. Mayor Adams and his predecessors have shown that they are unwilling and unable to address this abhorrent humanitarian crisis. A federal receiver must step in and take immediate action,” said Molly Biklen, Deputy Legal Director at the New York Civil Liberties Union. “The court must ensure that the receiver is transparent, accountable to the public, and able to stop the alarming secrecy campaign that the Adams administration and the Department of Corrections have waged. Decarceration and permanent closure can and must remain the ultimate goal, and the receiver is a necessary step to bring Rikers’ deadly conditions to an end.”

Read the amicus brief here.