Press Statements


August 9, 2023

CONTACT: Mariah McGough,

Demands Released Ahead of the Thursday’s Federal Monitor Hearing on Rikers Receivership

NEW YORK — As a federal judge considers shifting management responsibility of Rikers Island to a receiver, VOCAL-NY released a fact sheet with public education and demands for receivership that moves New York City closer to decarceration.

“The mere existence of Rikers is a humanitarian violation, and the Adams Administration is culpable every day it takes steps to delay shutting it down,” said Eileen Maher, a leader with VOCAL-NY’s Civil Rights Union. “With a receiver, true safety demands someone who is committed to decarceration and can move us closer to finally shutting down Rikers once and for all. A receivership without an eye towards decarceration will just land us back in the same spot we’re in now, and that’s deadly and unacceptable.”

Receivership alone does not guarantee decarceration or the closure of Rikers Island, which is why VOCAL-NY is demanding Judge Swain appoint a receiver with the following attributes:

  • A commitment to antiracism.
  • A commitment to decarceration.
  • A commitment to ending solitary confinement.
  • A commitment to closing Rikers by 2027.
  • A commitment to working with and incorporating input from those directly impacted by mass incarceration.
  • A background in medical and mental health.
  • Experience working with women and gender nonconforming people, and a track record of creating safe, inclusive spaces and policies for both adults and youth.
  • Experience in closing jails in other jurisdictions.
  • An understanding that carceral systems do not create safety, as evidenced by, but not limited to, not having been employed as a cop, corrections officer, or other law enforcement representative.

See full fact sheet here for further context.


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