Published: Sat, April 01, 2017
Global Media | By Garry Long

Rikers Island to close, New York mayor says

Rikers Island to close, New York mayor says

Experts in the field of criminal justice will reportedly recommend the shutdown of the troubled jail complex that has sat on Rikers Island for 85 years.

De Blasio previous year publicly rejected calls to close Rikers, calling it a "noble concept" but saying "it would cost many billions of dollars - and I have to look out for what's feasible, and I have to look out for the taxpayer". Details of the action plan have not yet been announced, including the location of the new facilities and the uphill battle that is sure to take place due to neighborhood opposition.

Last year Mr de Blasio publicly rejected the idea of closing Rikers, calling it a "noble concept" but saying it would cost "billions and billions of dollars" and leave the city with nowhere to lock up its criminals.

The announcement comes two days ahead of the planned unveiling of recommendations by an independent commission established by the City Council after a string of brutality cases that exposed poor supervision, questionable medical care and corruption at Rikers.

R Street welcomes Keystone XL permit approval
The proposed expansion would be 1,900 kilometres long and carry up to 830,000 barrels a day. It's going to be an incredible pipeline, greatest technology known to man or woman.

One of the recommendations included moving inmates into a system of smaller jails across the New York City boroughs at a cost of $10.6bn (£8.4bn), according to United States media reports. The jail's walls have seen fewer and fewer inmates, a change he credits with how law enforcement handles "lower level crimes", ABC News writes.

But de Blasio stopped short of adopting the recommendations in a draft report from a blue-ribbon panel headed by former NY state Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman.

Rikers is a 400-acre (162-hectare) former dump near the runways of LaGuardia Airport. "We oppose allocating hundreds of millions to build new jails".

They mayor said it became clear that "we that had to adjust the time line if we were going to be honest about it - that a decade was the minimum in which it could be done". Those reports included the suicide of Kalief Browder, who hanged himself after spending three years jailed - mostly in solitary - without trial and a homeless ex-Marine who essentially baked to death in a hot cell.

Like this: