The New York City Department of Correction plans to add 7,800 new surveillance cameras at Rikers Island as part of the reforms that were announced Tuesday. The Rikers Island facility has been criticized about the prison’s conditions and urged to reform their security measures, specifically on the harsh treatment of teenage prisoners by a small group of dangerous inmates who are responsible for majority of the violence in the prison. These additional security cameras will be installed in the next 18 months which will triple the number of existing CCTV cameras in the facility.
The goal is to reduce the use of punitive segregation through enhanced supervision. Alongside the addition of surveillance cameras throughout the prison, Rikers Island is expanding their facility to include a new housing unit for these dangerous inmates. This new block will have a higher staff to inmate ratio, law and religious library, and 7 hours of mandatory out of cell time. These changes have been commended by Mayor Bill de Blasio for improving the standards of the prison and moving quickly on the reforms.