Rape and sexual abuse of Rikers Island inmates are almost never reported to police, a New York City government watchdog asserts in a new court filing.
The office of NYC Public Advocate Letitia James shared troubling
figures Monday that suggest Rikers Island has a pervasive sexual abuse
problem -- and that officials look the other way when inmates complain
The data came from an Oct. 9 affidavit James filed in which she
supported the Rikers Island inmates' pursuit of class action status that
stems from a lawsuit filed in May by two female prisoners.
Rikers Island failed to report to police a staggering 98 percent of
sexual abuse complaints last year, James asserts in her Oct. 9 data,
citing city health department and corrections department data; of the
116 total complaints made to the Department of Health and Mental
Hygiene, officials only pursued two.
"Sexual violence cannot be tolerated anywhere in our city --
including our jails," James said in a statement via email. "Our
affidavit proves the disturbing prevalence of sexual harassment and
abuse allegations on Rikers Island."
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