Adams Selects Las Vegas Official As New New York Prison Commissioner | New York News

NEW YORK (AP) – New York City Mayor-elect Eric Adams on Thursday appointed a Las Vegas prison official and former New York police officer to head the city’s prison system.

Louis Molina, who oversees the Las Vegas City Jail as head of the Department of Public Safety, will be the next New York City Department of Corrections commissioner.

Molina will be the first Latino to play this role. He will assume the post once Adams is sworn in on Jan. 1 and oversee the city’s 10 penal institutions, including the ailing Rikers Island complex, which has around 9,000 correctional officers and 5,000 inmates.

The city’s prison system was marred by turmoil during the pandemic with an increase in inmate deaths, violence, self-harm and staff shortages. Inmates this week announced the death of an inmate in Rikers, marking the 16th death this year in the prison system and the largest since 2013.

Adams said Thursday he would follow a city plan to eventually shut down Rikers and replace him with four prisons in the city. But until then, Adams said, conditions at the facility must improve immediately.

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“Rikers Island has been a national embarrassment and we have ignored it. For too long the situation there has been unacceptable, “Adams said.” It’s a stain on our city. “

Molina said the need for reform of the complex was urgent.

“We will not tolerate widespread violence, inhumane conditions and a general culture of disorder in Rikers,” he said.

Molina is a former Navy who served as the Assistant Commissioner of Corrections for Westchester County, New York.

In Las Vegas, Molina oversaw the city jail, with a small police force of around 400 employees, including city commissioners and animal control services.

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