For an individual with serious mental illness (SMI) jailed following a felony arrest, the wait for trial can last as long as 9-12 months. This period of pretrial incarceration often includes transfers between Rikers Island and the Kirby Forensic Psychiatric Center on Wards Island, as individuals struggle to maintain wellness while in jail and require hospitalization for mental health treatment. CASES’ Nathaniel […]
New York City’s Rikers Island correctional facility currently houses more than 9,000 people every day, including young people age 16-17 tried as adults and thousands of men and women with mental illness.
Many of these people have become involved in the criminal justice system as the result of factors including poverty, low education levels, lack of employment opportunities, homelessness, untreated mental illness, and addiction. Once involved in the criminal justice system these individuals face significant challenges if they are to overcome the experience of incarceration, the consequences of a criminal record, and the disruption of community networks and—for young people—of the traditional course of youth development.