Bus to Riker's Island
We already know that Kalief Browder waited three years at Riker's Island for a trial that never came. Brutalized and starved in jail, he committed suicide less than a year after his charges were dropped
. Riker's broke his spirit and he was never the same.
We now know that the average inmate being housed in the pre-trial detention center at Riker's Island waits in this hell hole of a place for an average of 593 days. Mind you, these men and women have not yet been found guilty of a crime.
400 people at Riker's have been waiting at least two years or more for their trial to begin.
New YorkAssemblyman Jeff Aubry and state Senator Dan Squadron have introduced a bill that would hopefully speed up the trial process in New York’s courts. The bill, named “Kalief’s law,” was inspired by the tragic story of Kalief Browder, who took his own life earlier this month. Browder was arrested at age 16 and held for three years, most of it in solitary confinement, at Rikers Island.
Kalief’s Law would require courts to approve exclusions to the speedy trial clock. It also would tie statements of readiness by prosecutors to discovery, which would require prosecutors to present evidence that they actually are ready for trial.
While this new law could be an improvement over the complete disaster that exists today, it's not enough. Holding people for years on end without them facing a trial should be illegal. When it crosses a certain threshold they should simply be released. Every single person who has been incarcerated for so long at Riker's deserves an emergency solution.