WHEN THEY SEE US is available to stream and download on Netflix now. Brandon J. Holmes of JustLeadershipUSA, the group that spurred the Close Rikers campaign, believes now is the best moment for the mayor to recommit to the plan with the jail population at its lowest point in decades. A lawsuit has landed a decisive blow to Bill de Blasio’s plan to replace Rikers Island with a smaller network of borough-based jails. On February 11, 2016, former New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito announced the creation of a commission to explore closing jail facilities on Rikers Island. 1 4. Equally essential to closing Rikers is our demand to build communities. In her State of the City address, then-New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito called for reforms to reduce the inmate population at Rikers Island and, ultimately, to shut down the island. Rikers Island (/ ˈ r aɪ k ər z /) is a 413.17-acre (167.20-hectare) island in the East River between Queens and the Bronx that is home to New York City's main jail complex. Why is Rikers Island so bad? New York City will close the Rikers Island jail facility. For the former, there is Mayor Bill de Blasio‘s plan to close Rikers Island in 10 years, as well as the “Raise The Age” bill from Gov. Now Rikers Island is closing down, affecting the roughly 9,000 inmates held there on a daily basis. On October 17, all eyes are on the New York City Council as … There are currently just shy of 4,000 people who live, against their will, on Rikers Island. Inactive Rikers Island Facility - (Does not house people in custody) George Motchan Detention Center (GMDC) Originally opened in 1971 as the Correctional Institution for Women, the jail became a male detention center with the 1988 opening of the Rose M. Singer Center for women and was renamed in memory of a 17-year veteran Correction Officer fatally shot in the line of duty. Furthermore, 80 percent of the people detained on Rikers are pre-trial, and should be waiting at home until they have their day in court. With the city moving to close the jail complex on Rikers Island, the nation’s second largest jail network, the future of the island is unclear. Rikers Island stained this city’s reputation for far too long. New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer announced his support to close Rikers Island. Akeem Browder, brother of Kalief Browder, at a press conference at New York City Hall calling for the closing of Rikers Island, February 23, 2016. Rikers Island has become a place where violence and abuse are allowed to flourish, far away … So why does no one seem to believe the mayor when he says he wants to close Rikers, the vast jail complex that has come to symbolize some of the worst abuses of the criminal- justice system? Mark-Viverito’s call for the island’s closure gained support from Gov. Because they have experienced the damage that is caused by Rikers Island, it has been long-standing, and there has not been political courage to stand up and do anything about it. Some who have fought for years to close Rikers Island for good do not see the procurement delay as a bad omen. Closing Rikers Island requires a transparent partnership with New Yorkers across the city and with government, including the City Council and the State. Ben Fractenberg/THE CITY “The updated schedule reflects the ongoing dynamics forced on the city by the COVID-19 pandemic,” he added. Why I Support Closing Rikers Island … “The time to close Rikers Island has passed but the best time to do it is now.” Donna Hilton, who spent 13 brutal months on Rikers as a teenager, wanted to be sure the backstory was understood. They also recorded that more than 48 percent of adolescents at the institution had been diagnosed with mental health problems. — Mayor Bill de Blasio (@NYCMayor) March 31, 2017 Rikers Island is actually a microcosm of everything wrong with America’s criminal-justice system, and may also offer a model for how it can be righted. So: Close Rikers. Irrespective of whether closing a jail which houses about 7,000 inmates at a time has put an end to “[t]he era of mass incarceration” (much like de Blasio’s quashed presidential campaign, this statement relies on certain grandiose ideas not backed up by the numbers), it’s worth looking at what will replace Rikers Island and what the effects on New York City will be. We must vote yes to certify the city’s land use application and continue on the path to closing Rikers. 17 Oct 2019 Shadowproof. The proposal to close Rikers Island, which has been plagued by violence and outdated infrastructure, began in 2017, when an independent panel recommended closing the jail complex. But it will happen. A blue-ribbon panel led by former New York state Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman will recommend closing Rikers Island — and potentially replacing it with a … But because they don’t want any new jails built to replace it. It will take many tough decisions. It will take many years. Solutions: In June of 2017, Mayor de Blasio released the City’s “Roadmap to Closing Rikers Island” in 10 years. "Rikers Island is an example and an expression of a major national problem," the mayor said. He received a sentence of twenty-to-forty years, and spent nineteen months on Rikers. For decades, Rikers Island has meant tremendous suffering to our city’s most vulnerable communities. "The mass incarceration crisis did not being in New York City, but it will end here. An activist supports closing the Rikers Island jail complex during a City Council hearing, Sept. 5, 2019. They object to this whole plan to close Rikers Island. Rikers Island’s end is a sign of where the country is going on criminal justice issues Why I Support Closing Rikers Island Without Building New Jails: A Letter From Prisoner Lee Doane. Many critics say they are skeptical of the city’s promise to close Rikers and how it will actually finance such a massive undertaking. Why? Closing Rikers Island without building any new jail beds would require cutting our jail population to about 2,300, the existing capacity of the Tombs, Brooklyn House of Detention, and VCBC, the barge in the Bronx. Rikers Island has become well known over the years for its corruption and “deep-seated culture of violence,” as described by the U.S. Department of Justice in 2014. Supposedly named after Abraham Rycken, who bought the island in 1664, the island was originally under 100 acres (40 ha) in size, but has since grown to more than 400 acres (160 ha). Feb. 11, 2016 . The violent conditions at Rikers are even more shocking considering that the majority of people at the jail are awaiting trial and have not yet been convicted of a crime. Why Rikers Island Must Be Closed Without Building New Jails Pilar Maschi and Marlene Nava Ramos 2019-10-16. The movement to close Rikers Island gained significant momentum in 2016, when advocates who had spent time there began mobilizing. Not because they want Rikers Island to stay open. In 1992, aged seventeen, Mack was arrested as an accomplice to his older brother in a robbery. In part, it’s because for two years, as the chorus of voices calling for New York City to shutter the island’s outmoded and isolated jail grew larger and louder, de Blasio dismissed them. 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