De Blasio won't open Staten Island jail when Rikers closes

Judge Jonathan Lippman speaks Sunday

Guards at the troubled Rikers Island jail complex, one of the biggest correctional facilities in the world, continue to use excessive force like "head strikes, wall slams and violent takedowns" at an alarming rate, according to a report released Monday by a federal monitor. "I urge the mayor to immediately implement an online bail payment system, as he promised, expand the BEX program, support my bill to give judges defendants' financial information before bail decisions are set, and bolster the adolescent diversion program and Project Reset". The first being, instead of one huge prison with the "mass incarceration" model, they will build five smaller prisons, one in each borough.

"The question is whether we are going to get safer jails now", says Husamudeen.

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"The Island is uniquely positioned to accommodate an expanded LaGuardia Airport that would reduce delays and could serve as many as 12 million more passengers annually", the report says.

Big changes for Rikers Island have been proposed in the past, but the commission's plan has the backing of some of the biggest movers and shakers in NY.

"It is startling to see a conceptual agreement on such a major issue without an actual plan to maintain public safety in the city of New York", Golden said in a statement. "We did not go in with the mindset that it must be closed", Lippman said. "Now let's be clear [about] what this is going to take".

The commission's yearlong examination of problems at Rikers laid the groundwork for de Blasio's announcement Friday that the city would seek to close the embattled correctional facility, now home to about 7,000 inmates.

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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.

"It will take many years. It didn't begin here in New York City but it will end here in New York City".

The mayor said he wants to start talking with City Council members "in the coming weeks" about where to site new jails. He tweeted his opposition last week at the same time the mayor was making his announcement about closing Rikers Island.

"Many elected officials need convincing".

The mayor said very few of the city's inmates come from Staten Island and that building a jail there would not be "strategic". "We're not taking our foot off the gas".

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