Legal Aid Charges That Sexual Violence Is At Record Proportions & Rape and Other Sexual Abuse of Women Are Endemic in New York Jails

Seymour W. James, Attorney-in-Chief of The Legal Aid Society, stated that sexual violence is at "record proportions" in New York jails and "rape and other sexual abuse of women are endemic at the Rose M. Singer Center."

James’s comments were published in the Huffington Post and Capital New York. The Legal Aid Society and the law firm of Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP brought a federal class action lawsuit yesterday on behalf of two women inmates who charged that they were raped and sexual assaulted in Rikers by correction officers.

William Gibney, director of the Special Litigation Unit which brought the lawsuit, said that a series of rapes have occurred at Rikers Island with corrections officers putting pressure on women with threats of disciplinary action, with threats from other corrections officers, with encouraging other inmates to threaten prisoners who wanted to report the incidents that were occurring – this is the type of thing that the action is about that we’re trying to prevent.

Media reports of the lawsuit were also carried in The New York Times, the New York Daily News, the New York Post, New York 1, WNYC, and NBC.