Call to Action!

Services = Safety

Restore Funding for Programs at Rikers!

Osborne Association and five other program providers recently learned that the Department of Correction (DOC) intends to cut $17 million in jail-based programs in response to Mayor Adams’ executive budget. The cuts are slated to go into effect on July 1.

This short-sighted decision will cause further harm and trauma to those incarcerated and their families, unfairly burden existing DOC staff with new responsibilities starting in only 2 weeks, and reduce support for successful reentry, and community safety.

Over 115 legal, reentry, mental health, substance use, employment, and housing organizations agree that this is the wrong decision, and have signed on to a letter supporting the reversal of these cuts.

Join us in calling on the city to restore funding for these vital programs!

Steps You Can Take:

1) Contact your Council Member TODAY and ask them to advocate to restore this funding in the City budget so that community-based providers can continue to provide jail-based programs. It’s a matter of both justice and public safety.

These programs serve over 1,700 individuals daily, providing emotional and practical skill-building opportunities like cognitive behavioral therapy, parenting classes, and employment support. They are instrumental for creating safer and healthier environments within jails, and supporting successful reentry.

2) Contact Mayor Adams and let him know services equal safety and funding for programs on Rikers must be restored, using the message below.

Mayor Adams’ Executive Budget proposes to cut $17 million for critical reentry and support services for thousands of people detained pre-trial on Rikers. Yet DOC’s budget currently allocates more than $110 million to vacant staff lines. At a time when Rikers is in the news weekly for dangerous conditions, when more than 50% of people in jail have mental health diagnoses, and people are on Rikers awaiting trial for very long periods of time – we need programs from trusted providers more than ever. Services equal safety and funding for programs on Rikers must be restored. The NYC Comptroller, who monitors NYC’s spending, sums it up: “We can have a stable budget that is balanced without cutting core and essential services that New Yorkers rely on.”

3) Download our social media kit. Take this fight to your social media channels. We offer this toolkit for you, your communications colleagues and your networks. Please consider using or adapting our graphics, messaging and hashtags in these final days of budget negotiations!

Graphic Image reads Services = Safety on left side. The right says Contact the Mayor Today with a QR code below.