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Rikers Island Prison Conditions Class Action Lawsuit – New York’s Unfair Treatment To Its Detainees?

Former Rikers Island Inmates Sue New York City For The Inhumane Prison Conditions They Had To Suffer With During Their Detention

The City of New York government is facing a class action lawsuit, alleging that its detainees in Rikers Island had to endure different demeaning conditions while waiting for their bail approvals in court. 

Jerelle Dunn & Samuel Semple v. The City of New York

Click to access Jerelle-Dunn-Samuel-Semple-v.-The-City-of-New-York.pdf

Ex-Prisoners Take New York City Government To Court For Their Horrible Experiences Staying In Rikers Island 

Jerelle Dunn and Samuel Semple, both former inmates in New York’s Rikers Island detention facility, are taking the City of New York to court for the alleged inhumane inmate conditions he and others had to face under incarceration. 

The Rikers Island Prison Conditions Class Action Lawsuit claims that the complainant mentioned above had to face a variety of unfavorable jail conditions during their almost a week’s stay in Rikers Island’s prisoners holding unit. 

Dunn shares that he was forced to stay in a cell with at least three more dozens of prisoners waiting for their bail. He continues that the cells had no functioning toilets, and other inmates were not wearing masks as a part of health restrictions posed by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.   

In addition, the plaintiff details that he and others were forced to consume rotting food items on the floor and resorted to sleeping in turns on the cell’s floor surfaces due to overcrowding.

On the other hand, Semple shares that he was forced to endure beatings and violence while he was detained in Rikers Island. 

In fact, both Semple and Dunn contend that their stay in the holding facility was unnecessarily extended because they missed their court dates multiple times due to the jail personnel’s actions.  

Jerelle Dunn, et al. v. The City of New York: More Information

The pair also adds that they did not receive any medical care that they needed during and after their tenure in Rikers Island. Dunn explains that he complained about the blood in his stool during his stay, while Semple details that he did not get provided with the necessary psychiatric and physiological care he demanded after his release.  

The Rikers Island Prison Conditions Class Action Lawsuit wants to hold the New York City government responsible for its purported violations of the law on how it treated its Rikers Island prisoners. 

It is also asking the court to award a Class certification that covers Rikers Island inmates who suffered the same fate as the two plaintiffs on or after the 1st of April. 

New York City is not the only government unit or jurisdiction in the country that has been sued for its alleged inhumane prisoner treatment. 

Florida and Hawaii officials also faced legal challenges in relation to their respective jail facilities and inmate management and handling processes. 

Editor’s Note on Rikers Island Prison Conditions Class Action Lawsuit:

This article features the complaint filed by the pair Jerelle Dunn and Samuel Semple against New York City after it reportedly allowed for the inhumane conditions to pester and negatively affect prisoners detained in Rikers Island. Recently, a settlement was also reached by the Alameda County Santa Rita jail for its alleged ADA violations. 

Case Name(s) & No.: Jerelle Dunn, et al. v. The City of New York; Case No.: 1:21-cv-09012 

Jurisdiction: United States (U.S.) District Court for the Southern District of New York   

Allegation(s): Rikers Island prisoners were forced to endure severe jail conditions during their detention while waiting for their bail approval in court.      

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