Two female inmates, identified as Jane Doe 1 and 2, at New York City’s Rikers Island Jail claimed that they were repeatedly raped by a guard. New York City just settled a lawsuit on their case.
The city will pay both women in the settlement, although the amount was not disclosed.
Their lawsuit claimed that the city was ignoring the “pervasive culture” of sexual abuse at the women’s jail in Rikers.
The women were willing to go towards filing a class action lawsuit that would include all the female inmates that have been sexually assaulted by a guard. United States Jude Alvin Hellersen ruled in 2016 that these women could only pursue their cases individually and were not allowed to file a class action.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said that he is going to start working towards closing Riker’s Island permanently after a recommendation from several high ranking officials.
The plan is set in motion to close the prison in approximately 10 years. They say that the city can afford to not have this prison open any more because of falling crime rates.
New York City has settled a lawsuit brought by two female inmates at the city’s Rikers Island jail who claimed they were raped repeatedly by a guard, according to a letter filed in Manhattan federal court by a city lawyer on Monday. Under the settlement the city will pay both women, the letter said, though it did not say how much. Lawyers for the two women and a spokesman for the city’s law department could not immediately be reached.
The women, identified in court papers as Jane Doe 1 and 2, filed their lawsuit in May 2015, accusing the city of ignoring a “pervasive culture” of sexual abuse at the women’s jail at Rikers. They had sought to certify a class action including all inmates who have been or will be assaulted by guards. In January 2016, U.S. District Judge Alvin Hellerstein ruled that the women could only pursue their claims individually, not as a class action. Rikers Island is one of the world’s largest jail complexes, with 10 separate facilities housing about 10,000 inmates. It has drawn intense scrutiny in recent years over safety and security issues, including allegations of corruption, inmate abuse and unchecked violence.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said in March that he would work to close Rikers permanently, following a recommendation by an independent panel convened by New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and led by former New York Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman.