NYC politician wants Rikers Island renamed for Kalief Browder

The Independent Commission on NYC Criminal Justice and Incarceration Reform has released its report recommending closing Rikers within the next 10 years. In this 2014 file

The Independent Commission on NYC Criminal Justice and Incarceration Reform has released its report recommending closing Rikers within the next 10 years. In this 2014 file

Many Rikers prisoners are pretrial detainees too poor to afford bail, or nonviolent offenders with sentences too brief to justify a transfer to a new facility. The overall population in the jail system would be reduced from 9,700 to 5,000, as the mentally ill and drug-addicted are to be diverted to other programs. The five facilities of that system would be located near various courthouses.

Lippman recommended the closure of Rikers Island and the construction of new jails across the five boroughs, at an expected cost of $10.6 billion.

The commission studied Rikers for a year and made recommendations.

A 27-member commission to reform the criminal justice system in NY was assembled over a year ago with their main focus on Rikers Island. "You don't have to incarcerate your way to public safety". The locations for the new jails have not yet been selected.

Then the city would have to open alternative facilities outside the Rikers complex.

In 2014, former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Press Bharara announced the Justice Department's plan to sue the city after the Legal Society in 2011 filed a class-action lawsuit regarding the corruption and abuse of inmates in Rikers. He was 22 years-old. While Browder was imprisoned, he spent a considerable amount of time in solitary confinement and was reportedly beaten on multiple occasions by correctional officers.

In place of the nine facilities on Rikers Island that hold approximately 7,500 inmates, the proposal calls for establishing or reopening a jail in each borough.

Hizzoner said Monday he still hadn't read the report, even though it had been out for days.

Jay recently helped produce TIME: The Kalief Browder Story, which premiered at Sundance this year and also on Spike TV.

"It will take many years, it will take many tough decisions along the way, but it will happen", he promised. There are roughly 10,000 inmates at Rikers. "A year ago, we didn't think it could be done", he said. "It's huge, it's unmanageable - this work for me is not about work, it's personal", says Richards. "We now have a real plan".

Mayor de Blasio and the independent commission on Rikers say halving the inmate population is the threshold for shutting down the jail. It can be ended if we keep driving down crime, if we have the right approach we can end it.

Developers and investors have been eagerly awaiting an announcement regarding the prison.

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