According to a group of NYC lawmakers, the city’s notorious Rikers Island is set to close in 2026!
As the deadline for the New York City Council to vote on a new borough jails plan approaches, city legislators have approved a proposal that would force lawmakers to shut down Rikers Island jail complex within the next 7 years, Courthouse News Service reports.
Councilman Donovan Richards acknowledged the work that still needs to be done ahead of closing the jail but cited that closing Rikers would have an impact on the criminal justice system nationally and possibly internationally.
“We have a chance right here to send a national message: That Rikers Island, the most notorious jail in the country, is closing. Do you know how much of an impact that this has?” Richards said.
The council is set to meet on Oct. 17 where they will vote on building four new borough-based jails, as part of a larger plan to decarcerate the inmates at NYC’s most notorious jail complex. Prior to this announcement on Thursday, Rikers closing was only a part of criminal justice reform debate. Critics were in fear that the new plan was just an expansion of an even bigger jail.
Councilman Andy King voted no to the closing on Thursday.
“I don’t see how closing Rikers corrects the system,” he said. “I’d like to see that these reforms actually have a positive impact before we start putting jails in everyone’s neighborhoods.”
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