Since 2016, Latham lawyers have served as pro bono counsel to the Independent Commission on New York City Criminal Justice and Incarceration Reform, a group of experts, policymakers, and advocates charged with analyzing the correctional facilities on Rikers Island, notorious for violent and inhumane conditions that affect inmates and correctional staff.
Chaired by Judge Jonathan Lippman, of counsel in the New York office, the commission released a report in April 2017 recommending the closure of all jail facilities on Rikers. More than 30 lawyers and staff contributed nearly 2,500 hours to the commission’s work on the high-profile project, which has far-reaching implications for the criminal justice system across the United States.
It is now public policy in the city and state of New York to close Rikers. We continue to represent the commission as it seeks to implement the report’s recommendations as well as numerous other reforms to the criminal justice system in New York.