June 22, 2017
New York City has laid out the 18 steps it’s now taking to close the complex of jails on Rikers Island in 10 years, and replace it with a smaller network of modern, safe, and humane facilities. If successful, the plan will change the landscape in New York — but the first part of the plan focuses on reducing the need for jails like Rikers.
“New York City is at the forefront both of ending mass incarceration and reducing crime. We have the smallest rate of incarceration of any big city in the country, and crime continues to drop,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio, who first announced his intention to close Rikers in April.
To close the massive prison complex, the number of people in city jails will have to fall sharply from an average of 9,400 to 7,000 within the next five years. To do that, the city will continue its fight to reduce crime, reform sentencing guidelines and change the bail process.
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