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Federal government sues New York City over Rikers Island prison conditions
Federal government sues New York City over Rikers Island prison conditions

Federal prosecutors sued [case materials] New York City on Thursday over violent conditions at Rikers Island prison [official website]. The lawsuit comes after an August report [text] by the US Attorneys Office for the Southern District of New York, which found [JURIST report] a “deep-seated culture of violence” against teenage inmates at the facility. While New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Wednesday an end to solitary confinement for adolescent inmates, the lawsuit claims that federal prosecutors have been unable to reach an agreement with the city on other recommended reforms. The lawsuit, filed by US Attorney General Eric Holder and US Attorney Preet Bharara, seeks a court order to ensure that other reforms take place.

The August report was released after a multi-year investigation pursuant to the Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act (CRIPA) [text] was completed, which found that correctional officers relied on physical forms of punishment. The report advised the city to implement changes for improvement, such as increasing the use of surveillance cameras, revising the use-of-force policy and creating a policy for staff to report suspicious officer behavior.