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(November 18, 2022 – New York, NY) – The Fortune Society (Fortune) issued the following statement calling for a federal receiver to be appointed to oversee the Rikers Island jail system in the aftermath of 34 deaths, including 18 in 2022.

“It is clear that the City alone cannot protect those held in its jails, nor the people who work there. The Fortune Society believes that appointing a receiver is vital to address and remedy this crisis. We do not make this statement lightly.

For 55 years, The Fortune Society has been supporting people during custody and upon their release, through direct service and advocacy. Alongside and in partnership with State and City agencies, we provide programmatic resources and policy solutions. We have watched as this crisis in our jails has grown exponentially in recent years.

It is clear that the culture of dysfunction, neglect, and abuse in our City jails is too deeply entrenched to be solved without robust, creative, and external intervention, direction and authority.

We cannot stand by routine and conventional processes. Without bold and immediate action, more people in custody will die preventable deaths, and more officers will remain at risk of being injured. The Fortune Society joins the growing chorus of elected officials and advocates who call for the appointment of a receiver.”

Please visit to read the full statement outlining The Fortune Society’s stance on the rampant problems at Rikers that led to today’s announcement.


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