This is only a Preview!

You must Publish this diary to make this visible to the public,
or click 'Edit Diary' to make further changes first.

Posting a Diary Entry

Daily Kos welcomes blog articles from readers, known as diaries. The Intro section to a diary should be about three paragraphs long, and is required. The body section is optional, as is the poll, which can have 1 to 15 choices. Descriptive tags are also required to help others find your diary by subject; please don't use "cute" tags.

When you're ready, scroll down below the tags and click Save & Preview. You can edit your diary after it's published by clicking Edit Diary. Polls cannot be edited once they are published.

If this is your first time creating a Diary since the Ajax upgrade, before you enter any text below, please press Ctrl-F5 and then hold down the Shift Key and press your browser's Reload button to refresh its cache with the new script files.


  1. One diary daily maximum.
  2. Substantive diaries only. If you don't have at least three solid, original paragraphs, you should probably post a comment in an Open Thread.
  3. No repetitive diaries. Take a moment to ensure your topic hasn't been blogged (you can search for Stories and Diaries that already cover this topic), though fresh original analysis is always welcome.
  4. Use the "Body" textbox if your diary entry is longer than three paragraphs.
  5. Any images in your posts must be hosted by an approved image hosting service (one of: imageshack.us, photobucket.com, flickr.com, smugmug.com, allyoucanupload.com, picturetrail.com, mac.com, webshots.com, editgrid.com).
  6. Copying and pasting entire copyrighted works is prohibited. If you do quote something, keep it brief, always provide a link to the original source, and use the <blockquote> tags to clearly identify the quoted material. Violating this rule is grounds for immediate banning.
  7. Be civil. Do not "call out" other users by name in diary titles. Do not use profanity in diary titles. Don't write diaries whose main purpose is to deliberately inflame.
For the complete list of DailyKos diary guidelines, please click here.

Please begin with an informative title:

During his press conference just now, a reporter asked Mayor Bloomberg about the status of inmates on Rikers Island with Hurricane Sandy approaching. The question was asked out of concern for the inmates' safety with dangerous storm surges approaching and nowhere for them to go.

However, Bloomberg apparently thinks the safety of those jailed does not warrant consideration, and that their lives are not particularly important, for his answer was to allay fears about them getting out. Which is precisely what is needed may be needed: evacuation.

As you'll see below, this isn't the first time Bloomberg has left inmates on Rikers during a hurricane. Take action now by emailing his office here.

Below I've included just a few reactions from earlier today, after Bloomberg's answer made it clear he would be making no evacuation plans:
This won't be the first time inmates on Rikers are going to be left for dead at a hurricane's approach. In a story titled "Locked Up and Left Behind: Hurricane Irene and the Prisoners on New York’s Rikers Island," Jean Casella and James Ridgeway dissected Bloomberg's last response in 2010:
“We are not evacuating Rikers Island,” Mayor Michael Bloomberg said in a news conference this afternoon. Bloomberg annouced a host  of extreme measures being taken by New York City in preparation for the arrival of Hurricane Irene, including a shutdown of the public transit system and the unprecedented mandatory evacuation of some 250,000 people from low-lying areas. But in response to a reporter’s question, the mayor stated in no uncertain terms (and with more than a hint of annoyance) that one group of New Yorkers on vulnerable ground will be staying put.
He was annoyed by the question then, when he left them for dead, and he was annoyed by the question today as a far more deadly storm that promises to flood Manhattan approaches. And about Rikers Island's vulnerability?
According to the New York City Department of Corrections’ own website, more than three-quarters of Rikers Island’s 400 acres are built on landfill–which is generally thought to be more vulnerable to natural disasters. 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.
There are juveniles at Rikers. Prisoners with mental illnesses. Those detained without being convicted of a crime. And thousands of other inmates who are no less human, no less worthy of protection from New York City.

And yet, Bloomberg may be leaving these people to die. During Irene, NYC was spared. If the opposite occurs this time, and if forecasts about the severity of the storm surges are correct, we may be looking at a grotesque, preventable and utterly horrific tragedy in the making on Rikers Island.

But don't tell Bloomberg that. He'll just be annoyed.


You must enter an Intro for your Diary Entry between 300 and 1150 characters long (that's approximately 50-175 words without any html or formatting markup).

Author's Note:

Some have offered city assessments that place Rikers Island outside the primary evacuation zones, and maps that show city planners think it can handle a category 4 storm.

My response is three-fold:

  • The potentially devastating effects of Hurricane Sandy are immense, and in many ways this storm being billed as historic defies categorization. For it is not only immense and quite powerful, but it will be colliding with a cold front.
  • Unlike most other citizens, those imprisoned on Rikers Island do not have a choice whether or not to evacuate. They must rely on those in the city to make that decision for them, whereas countless New Yorkers not under mandatory evacuation threats will be evacuating for fear of what this storm portends.
  • Mayor Bloomberg's response, on its own, merits outrage, for the man clearly interpreted a question about inmates on Rikers as having only one important aspect: to allay fears about the potential for these inmates to escape. Their welfare? It's the farthest thing from his mind.
Extended (Optional)

Your Email has been sent.