The infamous Rikers Island will soon begin the process of shutting down completely by closing the doors of one of the nine jail facilities this summer. Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Tuesday statement said:
“This announcement is an important step in our plan to close Rikers Island and create more community-based facilities to better serve people in custody and our hard-working correctional staff.”
The motive behind closing down Rikers Island is to “transition to a smaller, safer and fairer jail system. To make that a reality, we’ll be looking at where we can create more off-island space by expanding existing buildings or finding new sites,” says de Blasio.
As of January 1 the Department of Correction’s jail population is 8,705, a record low since 1982. Under the mayor’s plan, Rikers Island will be completely closed within a decade.