Why did City Hall simply kick Correction Commissioner Louis Molina upstairs? The apparent guess is that it thinks the feds are in the end about to take over the town’s jails.
In principle, Molina will nonetheless be overseeing Rikers and the remainder of the Correction Department as the new assistant deputy mayor for public safety, and nonetheless reporting to Deputy Mayor Phil Banks; he doesn’t even get a elevate.
Yes, some fault Molina’s management, however he’s an skilled professional — and his alternative, present Correction Chief of Staff Kat Thomson, lacks a lot background in regulation enforcement or correction; her final submit was as an assistant fireplace commissioner.
No, Molina hasn’t been capable of cease the inmate deaths at Rikers (28 in his practically two years), nor finish the staffing shortages — a difficulty that began with excessive Correction Officer absences at Rikers and has since been extended by a hiring freeze imposed above his pay grade.
But he’s at the least tried to professionalize the company.
Yet the federal monitor is unimpressed, pointing in July to “pervasive dysfunction” wracking the Rikers jails, with fentanyl rife, COs crushed and maimed and gangs controlling elements of metropolis jails.
Our worry has lengthy been that labor points have extended the jails’ dysfunctional tradition — with the COs union itself nonetheless disordered by the corruption of its longtime head, Norman Seabrook.
The hapless mismanagement for the eight de Blasio years didn’t assist, both.
Nor his buy-in to the ridiculous “substitute Rikers” distraction: Years after that turned official metropolis coverage, there’s nonetheless no sensible plan to shut the island’s jails besides “let everybody go.”
Most doubtless, the courts are about to grant US Attorney Damian Williams’ request to put in a federal receiver — who can have the ability to rewrite work guidelines and hiring necessities, amongst different points, and received’t face the political pressures that may make fast reform unimaginable.
Something has to alter at Rikers; we pray that does the trick.