October 8, 2014
CCC testified about the unacceptable conditions for adolescent boys (ages 16-17) at Rikers Island documented by the United States Department of Justice (DOJ), at a joint Juvenile Justice and Fire and Criminal Justice Services hearing on October 8, 2014.
The DOJ report concluded that there is a pattern and practice of conduct, related to violence that violates the Constitutional rights of the adolescents.
CCC testified in support of DOJ’s number one recommendation—16 and 17-year olds should not be placed at Rikers. CCC’s testimony emphasized that the State is in the process of developing a plan to raise the age of criminal responsibility so that 16 and 17-year olds should soon no longer be treated as adults by the justice system. Given the small number of youth at Rikers (about 300), and the ability to divert some of these cases to community placements, CCC urged the administration to remove the youth immediately. In addition, CCC urged the administration to implement DOJ’s additional recommendations so as to improve the conditions of confinement for all placed at Rikers.