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Man Spends Nearly 5 Months in Rikers Island Prison, Unaware His Bail Was Just $2

dirtpoorchris

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https://www.yahoo.com/news/man-spends-nearly-5-months-171600783.html?nhp=1

A man from Queens, New York, spent nearly 5 months inside Rikers Island prison without knowing his bail was just a measly $2.

Aitabdel Salem, 41, was locked up between November 2014 and April 2015.
Last week, he was acquitted of skipping his bail of $25,000 for attacking an NYPD officer who arrested him in November for allegedly stealing a coat from a department store.
Unbeknownst to Salem, prosecutors could not get an indictment against him and he was ordered to be released soon after his arrest.

Someone should probably shut this prison down (because its too concentrated on making profits) and also investigate collusion between prosecutors and attorneys. How many thousands of dollars were wasted just because this prison wanted to make profits. How much more for the incoming lawsuit?
 

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Fantastic... and people wonder why our system of justice is so flawed.
 

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https://www.yahoo.com/news/man-spends-nearly-5-months-171600783.html?nhp=1



Someone should probably shut this prison down (because its too concentrated on making profits) and also investigate collusion between prosecutors and attorneys. How many thousands of dollars were wasted just because this prison wanted to make profits. How much more for the incoming lawsuit?

Unfortunately while the emotions behind your point are noble, they are misinformed.
Rikers is actually operated BY the City of New York so it's not a private prison.
This is not a misadventure fueled by profits, it's a tragedy fueled by ignorance, criminal level incompetence and apathy.
So yeah, I agree with you that, WERE it a private prison I would say "bring the wrecking ball."

Unfortunately New Yorkers are stuck with this and it has to be fixed, as does the entire correctional environment in NY, so it would seem :(
And just in case anyone might think I am engaging in elitist exceptionalism, I'm the first to admit we here in Cali have even more serious problems AND MORE private prisons than NY as well, so we're not one to point the finger.

I also have a TON of family in New York, both NYC and elsewhere, so I love New York and New Yorkers.
I come from a New York family, so this is a source of shame for me even though I am now out here.
 

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https://www.yahoo.com/news/man-spends-nearly-5-months-171600783.html?nhp=1



Someone should probably shut this prison down (because its too concentrated on making profits) and also investigate collusion between prosecutors and attorneys. How many thousands of dollars were wasted just because this prison wanted to make profits. How much more for the incoming lawsuit?

I figured for that argument you would have gone with the recent article about the guy who has been in Rikers over 5 years without having a trial.

https://theintercept.com/2016/06/01...-prisoner-approaches-six-years-without-trial/
 

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https://www.yahoo.com/news/man-spends-nearly-5-months-171600783.html?nhp=1



Someone should probably shut this prison down (because its too concentrated on making profits) and also investigate collusion between prosecutors and attorneys. How many thousands of dollars were wasted just because this prison wanted to make profits. How much more for the incoming lawsuit?

The prison should have to compensate the taxpayer and the taxpayer should have to compensate the man.
 

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https://www.yahoo.com/news/man-spends-nearly-5-months-171600783.html?nhp=1



Someone should probably shut this prison down (because its too concentrated on making profits) and also investigate collusion between prosecutors and attorneys. How many thousands of dollars were wasted just because this prison wanted to make profits. How much more for the incoming lawsuit?
Rulers Island is run by the NYC Department of Corrections. I don't think they are too concerned about making a profit.

No excuse for this guy not knowing what was going on with his case.
 

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https://www.yahoo.com/news/man-spends-nearly-5-months-171600783.html?nhp=1



Someone should probably shut this prison down (because its too concentrated on making profits) and also investigate collusion between prosecutors and attorneys. How many thousands of dollars were wasted just because this prison wanted to make profits. How much more for the incoming lawsuit?

Rikers is a ****hole but it is not run as a for profit facility. The NYC Department of Corrections runs it. It is staffed by city employees. It's also technically not a prison since most of the people there are either awaiting trial and could not make bail or have short sentences of less than a year.

The problem here seems to be more with his lawyers than the city, though the city has a significant problem with people who aren't flight risks who are given unaffordable bail for minor offenses.
 

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Unfortunately while the emotions behind your point are noble, they are misinformed.
Rikers is actually operated BY the City of New York so it's not a private prison.
This is not a misadventure fueled by profits, it's a tragedy fueled by ignorance, criminal level incompetence and apathy.
So yeah, I agree with you that, WERE it a private prison I would say "bring the wrecking ball."

Unfortunately New Yorkers are stuck with this and it has to be fixed, as does the entire correctional environment in NY, so it would seem :(
And just in case anyone might think I am engaging in elitist exceptionalism, I'm the first to admit we here in Cali have even more serious problems AND MORE private prisons than NY as well, so we're not one to point the finger.

I also have a TON of family in New York, both NYC and elsewhere, so I love New York and New Yorkers.
I come from a New York family, so this is a source of shame for me even though I am now out here.

I grew up about a mile from Rikers - the Hazen Street Bridge that leads to it anyway. It had a bad reputation back then and it's just gotten worse if anything.
 

dirtpoorchris

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Rikers is a ****hole but it is not run as a for profit facility. The NYC Department of Corrections runs it. It is staffed by city employees. It's also technically not a prison since most of the people there are either awaiting trial and could not make bail or have short sentences of less than a year.

The problem here seems to be more with his lawyers than the city, though the city has a significant problem with people who aren't flight risks who are given unaffordable bail for minor offenses.

having the ball stop at the lawyer only lets this happen again. There is no reason why some sort of auditor couldnt have looked over this and came to his cell and said "How are we gonna fix this 2$ problem"? Instead they just let him sit there for 5 months because its easy to blame the lawyer?

Also, (i honestly dont know) does the city give this prison money and does the leadership of this prison decide how to spend the money? Would more prisoners = more money allocated to the prison?
 

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The prison should have to compensate the taxpayer and the taxpayer should have to compensate the man.

The prison is funded by taxpayer money, it is run by the NY Department of Corrections.
 

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Rulers Island is run by the NYC Department of Corrections. I don't think they are too concerned about making a profit.

No excuse for this guy not knowing what was going on with his case.

Naaah, you don't understand...it is entirely possible he couldn't even find out.
Rikers isn't the only facility where paperwork disappears and cases just get buried, it's just maybe one of the worst but
you can find examples of that sort of incompetence in jails almost everywhere if they're big enough and sloppy enough.
 

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Rikers is a ****hole but it is not run as a for profit facility. The NYC Department of Corrections runs it. It is staffed by city employees. It's also technically not a prison since most of the people there are either awaiting trial and could not make bail or have short sentences of less than a year.

The problem here seems to be more with his lawyers than the city, though the city has a significant problem with people who aren't flight risks who are given unaffordable bail for minor offenses.

True, it IS a JAIL, not a prison.
The court system is the biggest factor but the jail is the biggest symptom.
 

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having the ball stop at the lawyer only lets this happen again. There is no reason why some sort of auditor couldnt have looked over this and came to his cell and said "How are we gonna fix this 2$ problem"? Instead they just let him sit there for 5 months because its easy to blame the lawyer?

Also, (i honestly dont know) does the city give this prison money and does the leadership of this prison decide how to spend the money? Would more prisoners = more money allocated to the prison?

Naah, doesn't work that way at all, straight up case of "left hand doesn't know what the right hand is doing".
And yes, auditors could work full time reviewing inmate cases and pushing out the priority instances like this man's case.
NYC's system is so big that it begs for an office strictly devoted to nothing but getting people with minor offenses or stalled cases moved through the system and OUT the door. A simple computer program could have alerted officials that the man's bail was two bucks and a red flag would have sent someone to spring the guy.

The other fellow waiting for six years should be awarded time served and his family given paperwork on how to recover damages from the city.
That's a case that needs to be handled from outside the system.
I vote that it merits attention from The Innocence Project or some similar outfit.
 

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Naaah, you don't understand...it is entirely possible he couldn't even find out.
Rikers isn't the only facility where paperwork disappears and cases just get buried, it's just maybe one of the worst but
you can find examples of that sort of incompetence in jails almost everywhere if they're big enough and sloppy enough.

Sure, but just because it happens doesn't mean it should.
 

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having the ball stop at the lawyer only lets this happen again. There is no reason why some sort of auditor couldnt have looked over this and came to his cell and said "How are we gonna fix this 2$ problem"? Instead they just let him sit there for 5 months because its easy to blame the lawyer?

Also, (i honestly dont know) does the city give this prison money and does the leadership of this prison decide how to spend the money? Would more prisoners = more money allocated to the prison?

For better or worse that's the way the system works. Probably works that way in most cities. Riker's alone deals with a hundred thousand admissions alone and god only knows how many more the NYC criminal justice system deals with. I know you think it's a cop out but the city doesn't have the time or resources to look after his best interest, that really is his lawyer's job. That guy fell down on the job and should be made to pay the price for it.

The NYC Dept of Corrections is an NYC executive agency. It's head - the Corrections Commissioner is appointed by and reports to the mayor. I don't know how their budget is calculated or even what it is. I understand where you're going with your question and honestly I have a hard time seeing how the DoC has any real say in the number of people who stay there. It's not like they're a private company lobbying Congress to keep drugs (or whatever) illegal. In fact the opposite is probably true. Given the chronic overcrowding in all NYC jails and prisons they're probably underfunded if anything.
 

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True, it IS a JAIL, not a prison.
The court system is the biggest factor but the jail is the biggest symptom.

I agree completely. The biggest problem to my mind is the mindset around bail. The only real criteria that judges - by law in NY - are supposed to consider is flight risk. If the guy's got a job and family, is a first time offender, and was busted for something minor there should be minimal, or no, bail because the odds of him skipping town are nil. Instead the guy gets hit with bail he can't afford and winds up sitting for months, losing his job etc.
 

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For better or worse that's the way the system works. Probably works that way in most cities. Riker's alone deals with a hundred thousand admissions alone and god only knows how many more the NYC criminal justice system deals with. I know you think it's a cop out but the city doesn't have the time or resources to look after his best interest, that really is his lawyer's job. That guy fell down on the job and should be made to pay the price for it.

The NYC Dept of Corrections is an NYC executive agency. It's head - the Corrections Commissioner is appointed by and reports to the mayor. I don't know how their budget is calculated or even what it is. I understand where you're going with your question and honestly I have a hard time seeing how the DoC has any real say in the number of people who stay there. It's not like they're a private company lobbying Congress to keep drugs (or whatever) illegal. In fact the opposite is probably true. Given the chronic overcrowding in all NYC jails and prisons they're probably underfunded if anything.

For better or worse thats not how it should be.
You are trying to argue that logic is 2$ costs thousands and thousands of dollars because people are lazy and its the lawyers fault.
 

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No it really should not, the profit motive has no place in the justice system.

your goal is unattainable. Lawyers and Judges will always be highly paid positions.
 

Carjosse

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your goal is unattainable. Lawyers and Judges will always be highly paid positions.

Do we pay them based on how many people they send to prison, no, then there is no profit motive but in the case of private prisons there is.
 
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