158 new people

were sent to NYC Jails last week.
This brings the total population of incarcerated people in NYC Jails to

5,393 People. 

This data covers the dates of November 21, 2021 to November 27, 2021. 


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This page will be updated weekly with the count of people who are newly incarcerated in NYC Jails and their stories. This page operates in parallel with a twitter account, @CrisisAtRikers, which will be updated concurrently with this data. 

This data is sourced from NYC Open Data. The dataset excludes sealed cases, and therefore may differ slightly from other sources. Furthermore, delays in reporting of new data on this page are due to delays in the city’s reporting of new data. 


Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, 

The NYC jail population has increased by

over 1,000 people 

in the last year.

This data is sourced from the Vera Institute of Justice's People in Jail in New York City data visualization. 


The Crisis 

Prosecutors continue to ask for and judges continue to set bail, sending more and more people to the NYC jails for what far too often amounts to a death sentence. What is happening today is a crisis once thought unimaginable, with deadly consequences and no end in sight unless serious action is taken.

The level of crisis in the jails cannot be overstated. People are suffering and dying. They are enduring mental health and medical crises without access to medication or care. They are starving without regular or sufficient meals. They are living in filthy conditions, held in units surrounded by literal garbage. Toilets are broken and overflowing into living areas. Intake cells are over capacity, people are being confined for days and weeks inside showers with no beds, mattresses, or toilets, and are sleeping on floors of showers covered in urine, vomit, and feces. People in custody—including those with no preexisting conditions—are experiencing rapid deterioration of their physical and mental health. With units going unstaffed, New Yorkers are left crying out for help while locked in a cell with no officer at their post.


Of the people sent to NYC Jails last week,





This data covers the dates of November 21, 2021 to November 27, 2021. 

* If a person is held pre-trial, this means that they have not been convicted of a crime. Most are held simply because they can’t afford to pay cash bail, an amount of money paid to the court to get released before trial. 



Mr. D

Mr. D witnessed a man in the intake cell begin having seizures because he did not have access to his medication for days. When his cellmates’ pleas for help and screams for a doctor went unanswered, the men in the unit lifted the man from the floor and carried him to the front of the gate, as if to prove the basis for demanding help. Rather than getting a doctor or providing emergency relief, officers used chemical agent spray to push the entire group to the back of the cell while the man continued to have a seizure at the gate covered in chemical spray. When DOC finally opened the cell, they continued spraying the chemical agent into the cell as they pulled the man out by his arms. Despite well-established protocols and policies, no one in the cell was allowed to decontaminate and no one received any relief—shower, circulating air, water, or milk—for their burning throats and eyes. 


Mr. C spent almost a week in intake. He shared that, although meals are distributed, there are only enough trays to feed half of the people in the cell, at most. Some make the difficult decision to skip their own meals so others who did not eat earlier can have at least minimal sustenance.


After begging for his medication, Mr. T was told repeatedly by DOC that no escort was available to take him to the medication window. Mr. T told DOC staff that if they didn’t take him to get his medication he was going to jump from the top tier. Mr. T jumped later that night.


Mr. M was scheduled for surgery prior to his arrest and is now in immense pain, requiring a cane to walk. The Department took his cane so he is now forced to lean on other men in his unit for assistance. He has waited weeks to see medical staff.


Mr. G was in intake for weeks and was never provided with a toothbrush or toothpaste. He used the water being passed around to rinse his mouth and his fingernails to scrape his teeth.


Mr. K is asthmatic and can barely breathe some days. He called his defense office to report he was vomiting all morning. He was told he tested positive for COVID-19 three days prior but was sent back to his dorm at OBCC, with no mask or medication. He cried to his defense team over the phone and said he is scared he will die.


Mr. N was in a dorm style unit at OBCC. A door between units was left unlocked, allowing close to 20 men from a neighboring unit to enter. Mr. N and the other men were left to fight for their lives when the 20 men rushed in with makeshift weapons from the decrepit facilities and stabbed Mr. N and others repeatedly in the torso, legs and head. Mr. N and the others ran to the “bubble” begging for the officer to let them in. Mr. N was one of the lucky ones, and despite the actions that took place that night and his pleas for medical attention, he has yet to be brought down to see medical staff for his wounds.


What can be done? 


Created by New York City Public Defenders


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