New York City Council Meeting on Women’s Issues at Rikers – specifically Sexual Violence and use of the Nursery – was presented jointly by the Committee on Women’s Issues and the Committee on Fire and Criminal Justice.
The Chairs of each committee, Elizabeth Crowley and Laurie Cumbo, co-ran the meeting. Unfortunately, the male members of the Committee on Fire and Criminal Justice either didn’t show or came late and left early. Even more unfortunately …
The Department of Corrections Came Woefully Unprepared:
The Prison Rape Elimination Act has been paid for but not implemented.
Leticia James, Public Advocate, Kelsey De Avila, of Brooklyn Defender Services, and Xena Grandichelli, a trans woman activist who was incarcerated at Rikers, have quite a bit to say about it:
Fortunately, there have been some improvements recently.
Cynthia Brann – Deputy Commissioner of Quality Assurance and Integrity at the DOC testifies about some of the changes. M. Jane Stanicki, an advocate from Hour Children, confirms that there have been improvements while asserting that Warden Michele Clifford has been an important part of making them. Ms. Stanicki also enumerates ways improvement can continue:
Strangely, formerly incarcerated women were heard from last. By that time, all the members of
the DOC, but one, had already left, seemingly uninterested in the information from the women who had experienced and witnessed the abuse. Here are formerly incarcerated woman and advocates, Evie Litwok, Xena Grandichelli, and Kelly Grace Price along with Alex Able, an advocate from the Urban Justice Center and Jails Action Coalition: