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Monday, April 20, 2020




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COVID-19, Rikers Island and Technical Violations: A Critical Discussion and Call to Action

As many of you may know, last week Michael Tyson and Raymond Rivera died on Rikers Island due to COVID-19. They had not committed any new crimes to end up on Rikers—they were incarcerated for a minor technical violation of parole. This practice of sending people back to prison for minor technical violations is alarming, yet not surprising. New York reincarcerates more people for parole violations than every other state except Illinois. With the spread of COVID-19 on Rikers, many more people are at risk of losing their lives while jailed due to a technical violation.

Join Andre Ward, AVP of the The Fortune Society’s David Rothenberg Center for Public Policy, in hearing from directly impacted people and panelists from the medical, academic, legal, and advocacy communities as they raise the call to action to change New York’s policy of reincarcerating people for minor technical parole violations.


Marcus Brown – an individual recently released from Rikers

Walter T. Mosley – New York State Assemblyman

Sharon White-Harrigan – Executive Director, Women’s Community Justice Association

Lorenzo Jones – Co-Executive Director, Katal Center for Health, Equity and Justice

Sarita Daftary-Steel – Senior Community Organizer, JustLeadershipUSA

Vincent Schiraldi – Senior Research Scientist, Columbia Justice Lab

Tahanee Dunn – Prisoner Rights Attorney, Bronx Defenders Prisoners’ Rights Project

Dr. Robert Cohen – Board of Corrections Member

Elena Weissman – Director, Bronx Freedom Fund

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