NY1“So often we hear the horrible stories of what goes on in Riker’s island and the New York City Department of Correction,” said Chaplain Dr. Victoria Phillips, a social justice activist [with the Mental Health Project of UJC]. “But we don’t truly hear the names of loved ones who lose their lives in those conditions, those horrible, barbaric conditions that they’re often placed in.”
The Root"NYC Jails Action Coalition [co-founded by our Mental Health Project] held a rally after the recent deaths of two detainees at Rikers Island."
Truth Out"Litwok did not die. She was released in 2014 and returned to New York City where she joined the Jails Action Coalition [co-organized by the MHP], a local advocacy group fighting to improve conditions in New York’s notorious Rikers Island."
AM NY“Enough is enough. We all have jobs and lives to live. We don’t want to be out here screaming. We don’t want to have to galvanize emergency situations,” Chaplain Dr. Victoria A. Phillips (Dr. V) [of the Mental Health Project of the UJC] said. “We do it because if we don’t do it, who’s going to do it? I don’t see an elected official.”
Mott Haven Herald"Advocacy groups Jails Action Coalition and HALT Solitary Confinement partnered to organize the protest, in response to the death of a Rikers inmate Willam Johnstone, who was 47. It was the sixth time this year a Rikers inmate has died in custody."
AM NY"Advocates, family members, and former inmates went as far as to call the jail a death camp during a protest that took place on Foley Square in Lower Manhattan on July 18...organized by the Jails Action Coalition."
NY 1"Protestors rallied on Tuesday demanding the Department of Correction reduce the population at city jails. "Every single day, someone in our community’s lives is in danger in DOC custody," said Victoria Phillips of the New York City Jails Action Coalition."
AM NY"Advocates, family members, and former inmates went as far as to call the jail a death camp during a protest that took place on Foley Square in Lower Manhattan on July 18 organized by the Jails Action Coalition."
New Amsterdam News"Tamara Carter—[a member of Freedom Agenda and the Jails Action Coalition] whose son Brandon Rodriguez died in Rikers—says bail is a “trap” for Black and brown households given the statistically lower median savings account balances, according to the Federal Reserve."
City Limits“We definitely support the [phones] initiative,” Jennifer Parish, director of criminal justice advocacy at the Urban Justice Center Mental Health Project told THE CITY. “But it doesn’t make up for the fact that they are not connecting people with the services that they need.”