NEWS: Abuses at Rikers Island: Officials and Advocates Call for End to Solitary Confinement and Officer Violence

By Annie Wu. Excerpted from The Epoch Times.

For Johnny Perez, the horrors of being placed in solitary confinement still remain fresh in his memory. More than 15 years ago, when Perez was a young teen, he was placed in solitary confinement for 60 days at the Otis Bantum Correctional Center on Rikers Island.

“It’s second by second, the attack on your soul,” Perez said, who now works as an advocate for the mentally ill at the Urban Justice Center.

Perez recalls having suicidal thoughts and crying so much that “you cry even when you run out of tears.” In addition, corrections officers often turned a blind eye to the violence that occurred among inmates.

“The abuses came out of pure neglect,” Perez said.

Perez was among the group of advocates and elected officials gathered at City Hall on Monday to call for an end to correction officers’ violence toward inmates and the excessive use of solitary confinement at Rikers Island, the city’s largest jail facility.

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