As we all know, Irene is on her way to the big city -New York. But, did you ever wonder what happens to both the inmate population and correctional staff and after the storm passes, will crime be on the rise?
First things first,
According to the New York City Department of Corrections’ more than three-quarters of Rikers Island’s 400 acres are built on landfill–Its ten jails have a capacity of close to 17,000 inmates, and normally house at least 12,000, including juveniles and large numbers of prisoners with mental illness–not to mention pre-trial detainees who have yet to be convicted of any crime. There are also hundreds of corrections officers at work on the island.
Rikers Island also houses the first ever baby nursery, and there are children with their mothers at Rikers right now. Many of us remember what happened after Katrina and the horrific conditions endured by inmates at Orleans Parish in New Orleans.
So, why is Mayor Bloomberg making NO plans to evacuate some of the population at Riker’s Island? After all, this will affect State correctional staff as well. Especially if they are left for days like in New Orleans with no food or water. This is a very dangerous situation, not only for the next few days but also for months to come as the fear and anger that will develop from these inmates and their families will increase. Remember, many at Rikers are simply being held for pre-trial and are not yet convicted and others are very mentally disturbed and need the institutional routine they are used to.
Normally what happens in emergency situations is that there is relocation if possible. But, in any case, all inmates will be on what they call lockdown mode. of all inmates. This for their safety and the safety of the staff.
But, what happens after? I can tell you that look for a huge increase in crime along the East Coast in the next few weeks. This is inevitable and will only hurt an already ailing economy. Good for a prison coach like me, but not the way any of us want to generate business. Tough circumstances make for even tougher times. For now, the best we cab do is learn from this and offer assistance where needed. And, it will be needed.
Listen to Wendy Feldman on America Now-http://bit.ly/p8STWM