The City Council approved a sweeping $8 billion plan to close the troubled jail complex and replace it with four smaller jails by 2026, an aggressive timeline that will prove challenging.
One 886-bed jail will tower over shops and restaurants in Downtown Brooklyn. Another will be next to a subway yard in Queens. In the Bronx, a jail will replace a Police Department tow pound. And another jail will rise in the shadow of City Hall in Manhattan.
That is at the heart of a plan for a landmark overhaul of New York City’s corrections system, which will culminate with the closing of Rikers Island, the jail complex with nearly 10,000 beds that has become notorious for chronic abuse, neglect and mismanagement.
The City Council decisively approved the proposal on Thursday, taking a step that seemed improbable just a few years ago. Supporters say the plan places New York City at the forefront of a national movement to reverse decades of mass incarceration that disproportionately affected black and Hispanic people.
Still, the aggressive timeline — closing Rikers by 2026 — could prove very challenging.
Mayor Bill de Blasio and Corey Johnson, the City Council speaker, embraced the jails plan, throwing their political weight behind the measure despite steady opposition from neighborhoods whose residents worry that towering new jails will harm their quality of life. Corrections officers also criticized the plan as unrealistic.
“What we are doing today will reshape the city for generations to come and impact the lives of every New Yorker,” Mr. Johnson said on Thursday. “For decades, our city was unfair to those who became involved in the justice system, and the overwhelming majority who were caught up were black and brown men.”
With two years left in office, Mr. de Blasio also secured perhaps his most progressive achievement so far as mayor with the vote to close Rikers — an idea that even he dismissed a few years ago as impractical.
“This is about valuing our people, no longer condemning people and sending them on a pathway that only made their lives worse and worse,” Mr. de Blasio said. “Today we made history: The era of mass incarceration is over.”
What mass incarceration? Crime has been going down for over 20 years. As for Dancing Cojo's boast, it seems that besides the big windfall cash cow the developers will get from this gift from our representatives, another reason seems to be for these people to grandstand about being the first city to do this. At the expense of neighborhoods were the towers will be built and the communities they disrespected and undermined. And will eventually disenfranchise.
Perpetrators will be encouraged by this show of support from the Democrats.
After all the vicious rapists were rewarded for attacking and leaving a white woman for dead.
What a way to destroy a neighborhood and bring the scum to Kew Gardens.
Why not put it in Hollis or St Albans?
There are those who say it’s part of a very large effort to force black criminals on white neighborhoods. Thanks Comrade Wilhiem
Funny how Staten Island escaped this fate
Does anyone care about the victims of those who are locked up? There is no consideration for Crime Victims.
No big surprise. Mayor dumbdumb would have pushed it through anyway. Just wait until these jails come to the neighborhoods. A criminal will be let out, walk up the block and commit the same crime 5 minutes after getting out of jail. And just imagine if there is a prison break at like 2 am and the sirens are all going off and the police are ripping through the streets looking for serial rapists and killers who just escaped? This is just wonderful and it's all just so mayor dumbdumb can line his pockets with money.
Everyone get the message yet? They don’t care about you. Vote with your feet.
Thank you Karen “Ronald McDonald” Koslowitz for your incredible courage in this matter. You really did a bang up job for your constituents.
Not since Neville Chamberlain have we seen such bravery and foresight from an elected leader.
Kew Gardens was blessed to have you as a representative through this trying time.
Enjoy the crumbs you were given at your seat and the table.
I bet that none of the council members will have a prison tower on his street.
All about the real estate. Rikers will get condos. When the families are forced out of Kew Gardens it'll get upzoned. The childless millenials will move in.
Communo-capitalism at work.
Time for the citizens of these good neighborhoods to arm themselves. Since the city no longer takes responsibility for public safety, the cops are handcuffed, so self defense is the only logical choice
From today's (Friday, Oct. 13) Queens Eagle, p.2:
"A Far Rockaway man is facing to 50 years in prison after being convicted of a brutal murder in which he used household items to assault two victims. Sahquane Jones, 35, used paint cans, a weed whacker, lamp, knife and other household items to kill Kenneth Schemitz in a home on 113th Street. Schemitz’s mother, Vivian, was also badly beaten, but survived.
“The defendant in this case relentlessly beat and battered the victims in their home with whatever objects he could grab from inside the residence. After the attack, the house was a torrent of violence with white paint and blood splattered everywhere with one man literally beaten to death and his mother severely injured.” said Acting Queens District Attorney John Ryan said.
“The jury weighed all the evidence and found the defendant guilty of these heinous crimes. He now faces a very lengthy term of incarceration for his actions,” Ryan added.
"Sahquane Jones"? . . . It is what it is.
And what?! The Schemitzes didn't reach for their pistols or shotguns?
Get that old gun out from your closet and give it a good cleaning because you might just end up using it to fend off a robber who has just been released.
For 8 billion BILLION dollars, they couldn't spend that to fix Rikers? OH WAIT that's going to probably be a new residential community.
And with all the troubles that Rikers has, if you keep the same people, etc. won't the troubles just be moved?
I love how they say the Kew Gardens is next to a train yard to make is sound like it's in some commercial area rather than a strictly residential area. Why not put it in a strictly commercial zone? HMMMMM, and how come it's not going into DeB's park slope ocmmunity?? HMMMMM Yes, bring that on. because the prisoner that escaped earlier this week - how many times will that happen. Thanks.
Did anybody actually think this wacko plan WASN’T going to pass??? Bozo, Johnson, Koslowitz, all a bunch of loonies who care NOTHING about what their constituents say. This is what the city gets for not caring enough to vote. Only the hard core uber liberal types are getting out there and that’s how we got Bozo. Just look at that ridiculous list of “gifts” Kew Gardens will be getting: a 25,000 sq ft community space on site, WHO CARES, it’s a 19 story mega prison!! We are not going to socialize, hang out or take our kids to events at a PRISON!! The rest of the “gifts” are basically things to help offset this mess- adding the parking spaces for instance- that’s going to be for all the employees and visitors, nothing anyone who actually lives here could use: like a parking garage for residents at discount prices; the security cameras going up at the schools and the addional NYPD, again these are just things they are doing because they know the prison here is a risk of our security; knowing these Bozo’s, no one will actually be watching the security cameras anyways. Basically, it’s a lose/lose situation that Bozo waited to push through in his last term and I want to thank anyone out there who voted for him (or who didn’t vote and helped secure his win) for ruining our city, THANKS!
This has got to be a gift to the interests that will build the new prisons and develop Rikers. And at 8 billion, our children will be paying it off.
If you keep the same management, you'll have have the same problems that you have at Rikers.
Guess where the Money is going to come from to fund this bad idea ?
That guy with the 'serial rapist' fixation does not seem to get out much. Perhaps from Vallonia.
“What we are doing today will reshape the city for generations to come and impact the lives of every New Yorker,” Corey Johnson
Yes but not in the way he thinks it will.
They don't really care how YOU feel or how you're impacted by their hare brained schemes.
As long as they can feel good about themselves, and garner a few votes in the end, it's all good to them.
Remember this on election day along with all those schemes, (New jails, Homeless shelters, Bus lanes, Bike lanes etc etc).
Why would changing location solve the endemic problems in Corrections? The end result will be the same dangerous brutal crap but now in the neighborhoods.
A plane landing every 60 seconds will destroy the idea of million dollar condos.....Rikers Alumni
Rikers is the ideal place for a prison,you even have harbor patrol right across from it for the swimmers,I think they want it for a new tennis stadium
Just think of the parking Nightmare guards will create looking for spots in tight neighborhoods,a meter maids dream come true,not sure but I think 4000 guards work per shift
Rents will go up on Staten Island
A few MOABs is the best way to fix Rikers.
A building is a building, it doesn't matter where it is. Riker's Island works as a prison. If you put half the money into Riker's that is being put into neighborhood prisons it would be a shining example of a modern prison facility. Brooklyn, Queens and Manhattan already have neighborhood prisons; Brooklyn House, Queens House and The Tombs, take a tour and see how wonderful these three neighborhood facilities really are, and then tour Riker's and tell us the difference. Closing Riker's for neighborhood prisons is just another Democrat boondoggle. But it's your $10 billion! I left NYC when I saw the writing on the wall.
Tammany Hall 2019, developer Billy-boy DeBozo, coming to your neighborhood soon.
"NYC lawmakers live more than a mile from approved Rikers replacement jails"
Hahaha...of course. And you stupid liberals keep voting these yahoos into office.
Is not the politicians, is the people who are the problem.
Once these four jails get overcrowded they will look out for more areas to place them in. Watch and see
41 million dollars per year to bus inmates to courts everyday where I am sure the cases are continually adjourned. It makes sense to have inmates closer to the court houses where the cases will be heard. Keep in mind many of the inmates at Pikers have yet to be convicted and likely are sitting there because they cannot meet bail. Smaller jails in the communities makes sense both economically and for the potential to reduce recidivism.
Who voted against the Rikers closure? I know Holden and VanBramer, but who else?
"Smaller jails in the communities makes sense both economically and for the potential to reduce recidivism."
You my friend have no clue what you are talking about. Economically the only thing that makes sense is that REBNY wants Rikers for condos. The city will get astronomical amounts in taxes and the small communities get the criminals. 41 million dollars you say? What do you think about the billions and billions that disappear in the black hole called corruption? Ever seen an accounting with all the monies accounted for? Nice try shill!
Open a full time Court on Rikers and and give judges cab fare!
They had no problem araining me cuffed to a bed in the hospital for a false arrest.
I don't know where you get $41 million, but it sounds spurious to me. But assuming you are right, then it would be cheaper to build a criminal court facility on Riker's Island. A smaller Court facility of course. Incorporate it into the prison facility. That would be a lot cheaper than $10 billion.
You don’t need 41 million to bus inmates, you can use Skype. But there is no graft in that so we get 4 new jails, plenty of graft now
Absolutely true. You can use Skype, just as they do in the county where I live. We do it because it works and saves money. Our little county doesn't get enormous federal government handouts like NYC nor are we taxed here at the astronomical level of those of you who live in New York. But it's your money and you keep electing these same types every four years. Pay the price.
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