AOC calls for release of all Rikers inmates amid ‘inhumane’ jail conditions

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and three other House Democrats from New York called on Mayor de Blasio and Gov. Hochul Tuesday to release all inmates held on Rikers Island, citing a long-running pattern of “human right violations” at the jail. Ocasio-Cortez made the extraordinary demand in a letter to de Blasio and Hochul issued jointly with Reps. Jamaal Bowman, Nydia Velazquez and Jerrold Nadler, who chairs the powerful House Judiciary Committee. In addition to freeing the roughly 6,000 inmates on the island, the four lawmakers wrote that the jail itself should be “immediately” shuttered and federal funding for its operations seized. “The current conditions experienced at Rikers are inhumane, unconstitutional and a public health crisis,” they wrote. “We believe federal funds should be used to decarcerate and shut down the facility immediately, as well as provide social, economic, psychological and physical health support to all those that are released to ensure their safe reentry into our community.”

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