The New York Women’s Foundation joined 120 organizations, many of whom are grantee partners, in co-signing a letter calling on Mayor Adams and the New York City Council to restore Rikers Island programs, which are set to be discontinued on July 1, 2023 due to budget cuts. In the letter, we urge the City to restore vital funding for these programs that serve people incarcerated in New York City jails.
We represent organizations throughout the City who serve thousands of individuals, families, and children across diverse fields including legal, reentry, mental health, substance use, employment, housing, and beyond. We are alarmed by the unexpected decision to cut $17 million from the NYC Department of Correction (DOC) FY24 budget for supportive programming in our city jails. We implore you to restore this funding for the 6 contracted program providers.
Programs in our city jails on Rikers Island and the Vernon C. Bain Center (VCBC) are run by Greenhope Services for Women, Fedcap, The Fortune Society, Osborne Association, SCO Family of Services, and the Hort, highly regarded non-profit organizations with a history of success. Together these providers ensure thousands of people receive critical services, including cognitive behavioral therapy, employment readiness, conflict avoidance, and reentry preparation. DOC’s proposed total FY24 budget of $1.17 billion includes over $110 million allocated for vacant staff positions. Cutting only 20% of DOC’s funded vacancies would more than fully fund all of the programs being eliminated.
Current and former grantee partners of The New York Women’s Foundation who have co-signed the letter include: