Lawyers for Rikers Island inmates, the city and the U.S. attorney's office in Manhattan said Wednesday that they expect to have a settlement agreeing to reforms at the troubled city jail by June 22.
The comments came at a status conference in federal court in Manhattan for a private lawsuit over mistreatment of prisoners that was joined last year by the U.S. Attorney after a scathing report that found widespread violations of the civil rights of young inmates.
Emily Daughtry, a federal lawyer, and Celeste Koeleveld, a lawyer for the city, both told U.S. Magistrate James Francis there were important sticking points remaining in negotiations, but the sides are committed to an agreement by the self-imposed June 22 deadline.
Daughtry said federal officials are "disappointed" the process hasn't moved faster, but will keep pushing the city. "There is a serious, decades-long culture of violence that needs to be reformed," she said.
Possible changes that have been discussed include improved training of guards, a disciplinary crackdown on unnecessary use of force, more cameras and a monitor to oversee implementation of reforms.