City Council approved Mayor Bill de Blasio’s plan to remove the Rikers Island jail by 2026 and move the criminals to four smaller jails.
What We Know:
- This plan is worth $8.7 billion. New York City’s debt grew to $119 billion this year in part due to this plan.
- The project passed through the required 26 votes for approval, according to the NY Post, but it wasn’t a straight out decision for some. Bronx Councilman Rafael Salamanca Jr. demanded Blasio close Vernon C. Bain Center before he can approve this project. Councilwoman Karen Koslowitz was worried about constituents taking her out of office over her decision to support the plan, but she believed it was the correct choice. She elaborated by saying inmates were “treated like animals, and it has to stop”. Councilman Steven Matteo (R-Staten Island) and Councilman Robert Holden (D-Queens) voted against the plan mainly for the high cost it bares for taxpayers.
- The locations for the new jails are at the NYPD’s Bronx tow pound, the now-closed Queens Detention Center in Kew Gardens, Brooklyn Detention Complex in Boerum Hill, and the Manhattan Detention Complex in Lower Manhattan.
- 50 to 60 “No New Jails” protesters was forced to move from the Council Chambers after they dropped several paper flyers onto those below. They are against Blasio’s plan of creating a new jail.
Blasio predicts the city’s jail population is currently about 7,000 inmates and he wants to drop it to 3,300 by 2026.