Soffiyah Elijah, African American Lives, Black Lives, Criminal Justice Reform, Kalief Browder, KOLUMN Magazine, KOLUMN

March for Justice | New York Amsterdam News Aug. 26, the Alliance of Families for Justice will lead a 19-day march to bring to the attention of the New York State Legislature, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the general public the human rights abuses in New York prisons and jails such as Rikers and Attica, according to the AFJ website.



Soffiyah Elijah, executive director of AFJ, organized this march with board members of the AFJ and volunteers. According to the AFJ press release, “The marchers will walk approximately 10 miles a day, culminating 19 days later in a major rally and news conference in Albany on Sept. 13, 2017, the anniversary of the 1971 Attica uprising.”


According to the History Channel website, on Sept. 13, 1971, a four-day rebellion of more than 1,200 inmates at the Attica State Correctional Facility in upstate New York ended most horrifically after Gov. Nelson Rockefeller ordered approximately 600 state troopers to storm the prison. The rebellion was the reaction of the inmates to the poor living conditions in the prison. The inmates were frustrated with the chronic overcrowding, censorship of letters and being limited to one shower per week and one roll of toilet paper per month. The Attica uprising was the worst prison riot in United States history.

Soffiyah Elijah, African American Lives, Black Lives, Criminal Justice Reform, Kalief Browder, KOLUMN Magazine, KOLUMNSyd London | Photo Credit

Soffiyah Elijah, African American Lives, Black Lives, Criminal Justice Reform, Kalief Browder, KOLUMN Magazine, KOLUMNGraham Macindoe | Photo Credit

Soffiyah Elijah, African American Lives, Black Lives, Criminal Justice Reform, Kalief Browder, KOLUMN Magazine, KOLUMNBenedict Evans for The Intercept | Photo Credit

Soffiyah Elijah, African American Lives, Black Lives, Criminal Justice Reform, Kalief Browder, KOLUMN Magazine, KOLUMNAshley Gilbertson / VII Photo | Photo Credit

Soffiyah Elijah, African American Lives, Black Lives, Criminal Justice Reform, Kalief Browder, KOLUMN Magazine, KOLUMN


RIKERS ISLAND | BRONX, NY

Rikers Island is New York City’s main jail complex, as well as the name of the 413.17-acre (167.204 ha) island on which it sits, on the East River between Queens and the mainland Bronx, adjacent to the runways of LaGuardia Airport. Supposedly named after Abraham Rycken who bought the island in 1664, the island is home to one of the world’s largest correctional institutions and mental institutions and has been described as New York’s most famous jail. The island was originally under 100 acres (40 ha) in size, but has since grown over four times to more than 400 acres (160 ha). Much of the first stages of expansion was accomplished by convict labor hauling in ashes for landfill. The island itself is politically part of the Bronx, though it is included as part of Queens Community Board 1 and has a Queens ZIP code of 11370. (Wikipedia).