Osborne Association Statement on Cuts to Jail-Based Programs in City Budget
(New York, NY)—Archana Jayaram, President & CEO of Osborne Association, issued the following statement in response to the Fiscal Year 2024 New York City budget:
“We, at the Osborne Association, are deeply disappointed by the decision to pass the New York City budget without restoring $17 million in funding to six nonprofits for our crucial supportive programs at Rikers Island and other city jails.
Nonprofit providers like us ensure that thousands of incarcerated New Yorkers receive critical services, including cognitive behavioral therapy, employment readiness, conflict avoidance, and reentry preparation. The decision poses substantial risks to the futures of individuals at Rikers, to their children and families, and to the safety of our city.
People who are incarcerated at Rikers will be profoundly impacted by this shortsighted decision—the vast majority of whom are being detained pretrial, 90% of whom are people of color, and more than half of whom have a mental health diagnosis. They are grappling with the inherent trauma of involvement in the criminal legal system, and these programs have been a beacon of hope and a source of resilience in an otherwise bleak environment. People will now leave Rikers and other jails without the necessary tools for success on the outside.
In eliminating the funding to nonprofits that provide care and support within the jail system, New York City has lost a vital resource for promoting successful reentry and public safety. These programs, designed to foster safer communities and pave the way for brighter futures post-incarceration, have been a lifeline for many who are striving to rebuild their lives.
We want to thank the leaders who have spoken out on this issue, especially Council Member Carlina Rivera, Comptroller Brad Lander, and Public Advocate Jumaane Williams. Their leadership and commitment has been and continues to be invaluable to Osborne Association and the thousands of New Yorkers we serve.
Osborne Association remains steadfastly committed to our mission of transforming lives, communities, and the criminal legal system. We will continue to advocate for policies and practices that promote dignity and justice.”
About Osborne Association
Osborne Association is a nonprofit organization dedicated to transforming the criminal legal system and supporting individuals, families, and communities affected by incarceration. Through advocacy, direct service, and policy reform, Osborne works to create opportunities for people to heal, grow, and thrive. For more information, please visit www.osborneny.org.