After decades of brutal incidents in the notorious jail complex, reformers are getting closer to the ultimate prize.
Venida Browder died of complications from a heart attack Friday, just 16 months after her son hanged himself in the wake of three horrific years on Rikers Island.
Kalief Browder was jailed at 16 for allegedly stealing a backpack and spent three years at Rikers without ever being charged. He later committed suicide. His mother, who fought for the rights of incarcerated teens like her son, died on Friday.
After years of abuses, local power players are making noise about closing the notorious NYC jail complex. We asked the mother of one of the island's most tragic figures for her take.
A state senator from Queens wants to scrap the archaic system of holding some people in jail before their trial unless they can pay for freedom.
The teenager spent more than a thousand days at the Rikers Island jail without a trial, an experience that his parents say drove him to take his own life.
I've seen firsthand how the system makes it difficult for jail inmates who have committed minor crimes to get out and stay out of a cell.
The plan, which offers 3,000 low-level offenders supervised release in lieu of bail, will help “reduce both the financial and human costs of needless incarceration.”
The scariest island in America is finally poised to see some big changes thanks to a legal settlement reached Monday.
"Some people think that solitary confinement is basically just spending some alone time," one former prisoner says. "It's not. It's like being buried alive."
Browder spent almost two years in solitary confinement at the notorious New York City jail, and was beaten and abused while awaiting a trial that never came.