Legal Aid Managers, ALAA, and 1199 Demand the Closing of Rikers

The Legal Aid Society provided crucial support for Saturday’s march and rally demanding the closing of Rikers Island.

Representatives from every Practice area and Administration added their voices to the cry to close Rikers. The Mobile Justice Unit traveled the route of the march. The Legal Aid Society was one of 98 organizations demanding the close of Rikers Island.

Placards carried the message:

  • Why We March
  • Because over 80% of people held at Rikers, languishing as they await trial because they cannot afford bail, are people of color.
  • Because 40% of the people at Rikers Island have diagnosed mental health needs and are locked away in cells, instead of given treatment.
  • Because women held at Rikers are sexually abused by those that are supposed to protect them.
  • Because NY jails children--16 and 17 year olds--at Rikers where they face violence and abuse, returning to communities scarred and broken.
  • Because families struggle to visit their children, husbands, wives, partners, mothers, fathers, loved ones and friends, forced to take burdensome transportation, endure long waits and face abuse and strip searches by staff.