MAYOR BILL DE BLASIO
The Mayor's plan for more supportive housing in New York is nothing short of seismic for local organizations and providers working in difficult circumstances, seeing and meeting homeless people every day, taking risks and pursuing all avenues to address the needs of individuals who have been through hell and back.
Nobody of any age should be held in jail without a trial for three years. No child or adolescent should be held in an adult jail. Yet, a 16-year-old accused of stealing a backpack was kept in one of the most violent adult jails in the United States, Rikers Island in New York City, for three years without a trial. This was morally scandalous and inhumane. Even worse, he spent more than two years of that time in solitary confinement, locked up alone except to go to the shower, the recreation area, the visit room or the medical clinic. This was torture. The suicide of 22-year-old Kalief Browder on June 6, barely two years after his release and return home, was the final horror in his tragic and brutal journey into the depths of the adult criminal justice system in New York.
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For all emergency conditions, especially when we don't have heat and hot water in the winter, HPD should improve their response: inspectors must be dispatched in less than 24 hours and must notify landlords of the violation immediately and the requirement to make the repair within 24 hours; fine owners when the repair is not made within 24 hours.