Saturday, October 24, 2015

Rikers Island Almost Never Reports Sexual Abuse Complaints: Official

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 about it.
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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