Newsweek

Should New York Throw Away Key to Rikers Island Jail?

Attempts to fix the brutal and corrupt Rikers Island jail have failed, once again, and no one seems to have a solution.
Damien Norman was 17 when he says a Rikers Island guard broke his wrist and sent him to solitary while he was awaiting trial. The jail, experts say, continues to "accelerate misery."
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Updated | When the mayor of New York City chose a new correction commissioner in 2014, Rikers Island, the city’s largest jail, was notorious for its inhumane conditions and rampant violence. Mayor Bill de Blasio selected as his new jails chief Joseph Ponte, a man with a progressive record of transforming jails in Maine and Tennessee. The New York Times welcomed Ponte with the front-page headline “De Blasio Setting Up a Test: Prison Reformer vs. Rikers Island.”

Three years later, conditions at Rikers are still horrific, and the commissioner was scheduled to step down on June 28 after a city probe revealed he had repeatedly driven his municipal vehicle back to Maine and spent a total

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