Sunday, April 23, 2017

Sunday Globe Special: Room at Rikers

Latest Rikers brutality case fuels debate over jail’s future

It's the Rodiny Calypso case that is the latest.

When you get out:

"N.Y. to give jobs to released inmates" by Tom Hays Associated Press  April 22, 2017

NEW YORK — The jobs will last up to eight weeks, with hourly wages covered by taxpayer money rather than coming out of the pocket of the employers.

The program, expected to be in place by the end of the year, is part of a broader effort to drive down the city’s inmate population to the point where the city could build smaller jails to replace Rikers.

The shutdown of one of the nation’s largest jails could take years, so the mayor is pitching shorter-term remedies to ease the chronic violence and corruption at the sprawling facility.

SeeNo charges, but harsh criticism for

Political corruption? 

And he was supposed to be the voice of the di$enfranchi$ed.

Supporters say transitional jobs — kitchen, construction, and other jobs paying minimum wage — are a good investment because research shows that inmates who get them would be less likely to break the law again and go back to Rikers, where the costs of housing each prisoner can top $200,000 a year.

I'm not doubting it, but you have people without records looking for jobs, too.

The economics make it ‘‘in everyone’s interest to do this because otherwise they pay in the end,’’ said supporter Martin Horn, a Department of Correction commissioner under then-mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Well, we saw who pays.

But the plan has come under fire by critics that include another former city jails boss, Bernard Kerik, who served his own prison term for tax fraud and lying to the White House during his vetting process for Homeland Security secretary.

Don't these scum ever go away?

Related: Taking a Trip to Rikers Island

I was told there was a big shake-up after that with a U.S. lawsuit on the way.

Part of the focus is on winning the trust of employers who risk hiring criminals trying to go straight, said Stanley Richards, a former convict who serves as the organization’s executive vice president.

‘‘It can be a tough sell,’’ Richards said. ‘‘We’re dealing with stereotypes of the formerly incarcerated. So what we’re saying to employers is, ‘We’re concerned about your business, because we’re helping to build new lives.’ ’’

Some have held steady employment at a large commercial kitchen in Queens shared by caterers and bakers.

‘‘In the food industry, they want to know if you can cut 50 potatoes in five minutes, not whether you served time,’’ said Seth Bornstein, who runs the facility as part of the Queens Economic Development Corporation. ‘‘A few of them are less reliable than others, but no more than the general population.’’

So elitist. 

So KP is now the way to a promising future?


Looks like you get a more compliant worker, too.

Maybe he can buy a home now:

"Scams push foreclosure fraud to limit, taking victims’ homes" by Matt Sedensky Associated Press  April 22, 2017

NEW YORK — Around the United States, deed theft has emerged as one of the most sophisticated and devastating frauds ever to menace homeowners. Foreclosure ‘‘rescue’’ scams that have stolen thousands of dollars from individual homeowners in the years since the housing collapse have been pushed by savvy perpetrators to their limit. They use lies to convince the desperate to sign over their titles, then force them into homelessness or a years-long legal battle.

‘‘The scammers are no longer content with stealing $5,000. Now they want the whole house,’’ said Dina Levy, who heads the Homeowner Protection Program in the New York attorney general’s office, which has spread word about deed theft and prosecuted culprits.

Deed theft has been reported around the United States, from San Diego, where prosecutors recently netted a guilty plea and six-year prison sentence for a man involved in deed thefts of at least 15 homes, to Detroit, where the register of deeds hopes to expand his fraud unit to keep up with a crush of cases.

It has been most severe in gentrifying neighborhoods quickest to rebound from the housing crisis, nowhere more so than ever-pricier blocks of New York.... 

Maybe not.


Better try renting an apartment.


"A former Rikers Island guard was convicted Thursday of violating the civil rights of an ailing inmate who died after he was repeatedly kicked in the head while restrained on the floor outside a jail doctor’s office...."

I think I'll ignore today's spew.