New York activists call for more federal oversight of schools for young inmates in Rikers Island jail. Federal authorities have been monitoring educational projects for underage inmates since 1996 to ensure that the youth were being given the education they were entitled to. Such schools have a long and controversial history of violence and abuse, and the most recent federal report has found that they also lack educational and safety resources.
Just in January, a spike in knife crimes at the school was reported, resulting in plummeting attendance numbers at the school. Lawyers advocate for prolonged federal oversight of the jail, because, according to their insights, inmates have increasingly troubled access to education.
Violence at Rikers Island has been making headlines for at least two decades. A lawsuit is still open, filed by teens who claimed that the jail failed to provide them with educational facilities. In 2014, an extensive report was published, describing the ubiquitous violence which spanned the life of young inmates in jail. Off the record, personnel confess that the number of knife crimes is higher than officially reported.