Jail Money

Jail Money
February 4, 2013

Maureen Martin

Maureen Martin passed away on February 5, 2013. The Heartland Institute's page in tribute to her... (read full bio)

Lawsuits filed by inmates in Rikers Island, New York City’s main jail – most of them frivolous – have cost the city more than $111 million over the past five years.

Suits have been filed for slips in a shower, a bed that’s too short, water that’s too hot served in the dining room. The payments come because the city will pay the prisoners a few thousand dollars rather than run up legal bills to fight the case in court.

“Once the lawsuit is created, even if it’s nonsense, they still get paid – and most of them are nonsense,” a prison source said. “They know the city will investigate and say it’s not worth going to court. They’ll offer $2,000 to squash it, and the lawyer will tell the inmate, ‘It’s a bulls--t case, but they’re offering $2,000 – you should take it.’ “

“Inmates who bring frivolous lawsuits and their attorneys waste city taxpayer dollars,” said a spokeswoman for the city law department. “They unfortunately require us to deploy valuable public resources to investigate and defend the city.”

Source: Doug Montero and Dan Macleon, “Rikers Island inmates cost city big $$ with ‘frivolous’ lawsuits,” New York Post, January 14, 2013 

Maureen Martin

Maureen Martin passed away on February 5, 2013. The Heartland Institute's page in tribute to her... (read full bio)