Curtis Sliwa calls on Hochul to take control of Rikers Island

Republican mayoral candidate Curtis Sliwa on Wednesday called for Gov. Kathy Hochul to seize control of the dangerous and disorderly Rikers Island from Mayor Bill de Blasio and add thousands more guards to the short-staffed facilities.

“My position is that Gov. Hochul needs to go in and just take over Rikers Island, and immediately we need an additional 2,000 correctional officers just to try to stabilize the situation,” he told The Post outside City Hall, ahead of a City Council oversight hearing on the out-of-control jail.

The proposal comes after on Monday a Rikers Island inmate attempted to hang himself in front of two lawmakers during a harrowing tour of the lockup.

On Wednesday morning, Sliwa ripped local politicians who he said were mostly sympathizing with those being held at the lockup rather than guards “who are under attack.”

Rikers Island is slated to close by August 2027, under Bill de Blasio’s $8.7 billion plan to replace it with four smaller jails in Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan and the Bronx.
REUTERS
Inmates seen amid the lawlessness on Rikers Island.
Inmates seen amid the lawlessness on Rikers Island.

“Nobody’s speaking for the correctional officers who have the most dangerous and toughest job in New York City, bar none,” the Guardian Angels founder said after a press conference. “It’s amazing, the support that the inmates have, with no concern whatsoever for the correctional officers, and that’s by the elected officials, obviously a mayor who refused to even go to Rikers Island, who won’t stay or spend any time there.”

“The whole island is in crisis,” he went on. “Somebody’s got to be here to support the actual correctional officers who are under attack, who are being assaulted on a daily basis.”

Sliwa, who on Sunday demanded that the mayor visit Rikers Island, faces off in November against heavy favorite Eric Adams, the Brooklyn borough president and Democratic mayoral nominee.

Curtis Sliwa has called on Kathy Hochul to take control of Rikers Island.
Curtis Sliwa has called on Kathy Hochul to take control of Rikers Island.
Daniel William McKnight

Rikers is slated to close by August 2027, under de Blasio’s $8.7 billion plan to replace it with four smaller jails in Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan and the Bronx.

In the meantime, the mayor announced an “emergency plan” Tuesday to improve conditions at the beleaguered jail, including suspending correction officers for not showing up for work without proving their illness.

“Anyone who is out sick for more than one day will have to go to a doctor for an evaluation or provide appropriate documentation. If they don’t, there will be suspension without pay for 30 days,” he said during his daily press briefing. “And any staff member who is AWOL will be held accountable with a 30-day suspension without pay.”