New York City Officials Announce Plan To Shut Down Rikers Island

Legend added, "In closing Rikers, New York City takes a crucial step towards ending #massincarceration".

Mark-Viverito has been a vocal proponent of shutting down the complex.

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.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio speaks at the City Hall in New York, U.S., March 16, 2017.

De Blasio was defensive when asked about her comments during his weekly appearance on the same show Friday. The 10-year plan would also include putting numerous Rikers inmates back on the streets under "supervised release", the Post reported.

In what could become the biggest criminal justice news of the year, a plan has been announced to shut down the jail that has held and criminalized countless Black and Brown people in New York City over the course of the last 85 years. "This is a day New Yorkers have been waiting for".

"The commission, led by Judge Jonathan Lippman, was formed a year ago, with the goal of "[creating] a blueprint for an improved criminal justice system reflecting our city's values of decency, dignity, and equal treatment before the law".

"For a long time I have said publicly it was a noble idea but I did not see how it was attainable under the conditions we were facing", he said at a news conference.

And he said the long-term plan would require commitment from his successors.

De Blasio suggested the city would eventually rename the island and use it to house other municipal institutions, private interests or both. If history is any guide, siting jails in a neighborhood is certain to face ferocious opposition.

"It should look like we're closing Rikers and doing away with an old draconian system that tortured many in the last century", Browder said.

The city now has jails in lower Manhattan and Downtown Brooklyn that together hold around 2,400 people.

Andrew Cuomo has voiced his support for the closure of the notorious jail in the past. "The State has to help us improve the way the courts handle cases, because a big piece of the population on Rikers is folks awaiting trial".

De Blasio is up for re-election in the fall, but even if he wins he'll be term-limited, and his mayoralty will be ending near the earliest benchmark when the city would begin deciding whether to close Rikers and picking replacement jail locations.

"The city has said, 'We can't do it".

The plan is not set in stone, but the commission's recommendations will be made public on Sunday.

  • Leroy Wright