New York City has agreed to a settlement in the long-running legal battle over abuses at Rikers Island, the country’s second-largest jail system, federal and city officials said on Monday.
The administration of Mayor Bill de Blasio committed to a host of far-reaching reforms in the deal, including the appointment of a federal monitor, an expansive new policy restricting the use of force by guards against inmates and the installation of thousands of surveillance cameras at the jail complex, the office of the United States attorney for the Southern District, Preet Bharara, said in a court filing.
The agreement also includes a major focus on the safety and supervision of teenage inmates, which was the subject of a lengthy civil rights investigation by Mr.
“This comprehensive framework requires the city to implement sweeping operational changes to fix a broken system and dismantle a
The settlement, which comes after months of negotiations, follows a decision by Mr.
In August, Mr.
The New York Times first reported details of the expected settlement on Thursday.
The government’s seven-page filing on Monday in Federal District Court noted that the settlement would also include “robust requirements” for reporting the use of force by correction officers, the development of an “early warning” program to flag guards whose conduct may warrant corrective action, and the wearing of body cameras by guards in a pilot project.
The document said the monitor who will oversee and help to develop the reforms at Rikers is Steve J. Martin, a lawyer and national corrections expert who has been an expert witness and a court-appointed monitor in previous prison class-action lawsuits in New York City. He declined to comment on Monday.
In the court filing, Mr.
Although the agreement was embraced wholeheartedly by Mr.
In one dispute, The Times reported, the city objected to a provision that would require the Department of Correction to notify the United States attorney’s office whenever it referred a
In focusing on the treatment of young inmates, the agreement ends the use of punitive segregation for inmates under 18 as well as for 18-year-olds with serious mental illness, the filing says. Mr.
The filing says that the lawyers for the individual named plaintiffs in the Nunez class action had reached an agreement in principle with the city to resolve most of their individual damages cases, which are still subject to approval by their clients. The 11 plaintiffs, all men, said they had been beaten by correction officers at Rikers and two other city
Despite the current and pending reforms, the city is still struggling to get
One of the