Rights Group Condemns City's Refusal to Move Prisoners to Safety During Hurricane

October 29, 2012, New York -- Today, in response to Mayor Bloomberg's statement at last night's press conference that "Jails are secure...don't worry about anyone getting out" during Hurricane Sandy, Center for Constitutional Rights Executive Director Vincent Warren issued the following statement:

"It is unconscionable that the city has made no plans for the evacuation of Riker’s Island. The city has an obligation to help ensure the safety of all its residents. With Hurricane Sandy bearing down on the East Coast and indications that the storm’s impact could be far greater than Hurricane Irene’s (where the city also failed to include Riker’s in its evacuation plan), we urge Mayor Bloomberg to belatedly to show some concern for the lives of the 12,000 men, women and children whose ability to escape this storm is entirely at the city’s mercy. It is appalling that the lessons of Hurricane Katrina, where prisoners at Orleans Parish Prison were abandoned and left in locked cells, some standing in chest-high sewage-tainted water, remain stubbornly unlearned by the leadership of our city."

The Center for Constitutional Rights works with communities under threat to fight for justice and liberation through litigation, advocacy, and strategic communications. Since 1966, the Center for Constitutional Rights has taken on oppressive systems of power, including structural racism, gender oppression, economic inequity, and governmental overreach. Learn more at ccrjustice.org.


Last modified 

October 29, 2012