The Challenge of Cultural Change on Rikers Island (Gotham Gazette – Op Ed)

By GREG BERMAN | March 18, 2015

Mayor de Blasio at Rikers (photo: @MonicaCKlein)

Mayor de Blasio at Rikers (photo: @MonicaCKlein)

After three years of volunteer service, I recently stepped down from the New York City Board of Correction, which is responsible for ensuring that all city jails, including Rikers Island, meet certain minimum standards regulating the care of inmates.

It wasn’t the happiest experience I’ve ever had. While I was on the Board of Correction, Rikers Island became a topic of intense local and national concern. Thanks in no small part to intrepid reporting by Graham Rayman, Jake Pearson, Michael Winerip, Michael Schwirtz and others, there is now widespread agreement that Rikers Island requires significant reform.

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