With Hurricane Sandy approaching the New York Area, Mayor Bloomberg declared a state of emergency and ordered the evacuation of hundreds of thousands of people in low laying and vulnerable areas.
An area called Rikers Island in New York is in one of these dangerous areas, however for most of the people who live there evacuation is not an option.
That is because Rikers Island is a jail and people who happen to find themselves in jail are no longer looked at as human beings, especially by a member of the ruling class such as Bloomberg.
According to the New York City Department of Corrections’ own website, more than three-quarters of Rikers Island’s 400 acres are built on landfill–which is generally thought to be more vulnerable to natural disasters.
Its ten jails have a capacity of close to 17,000 inmates, and normally house at least 12,000, including juveniles and large numbers of prisoners with mental illness–not to mention pre-trial detainees who have yet to be convicted of any crime.
Most of the people held at this facility are small time, nonviolent offenders, this is a jail, not a prison. Even then, the majority of people in prison are also nonviolent offenders.
In a press conference this weekend about the hurricane, Bloomberg was asked about the condition of the prisoners in case of an emergency and replied by saying “don’t worry about them getting out”.