Finally, a serious plan to close Rikers
Apr 04, 2017 | 3835 views | 0 0 comments | 489 489 recommendations | email to a friend | print
This week, Mayor Bill de Blasio finally got behind a long-held promise to close the detention center at Rikers Island in Queens. The 10-year plan to phase the facility out can’t come to fruition soon enough.

The island, being isolated from the general population, has allowed much of the city to turn a blind eye to the rampant reports of inmate abuse and generally terrible conditions.

But separate from the alleged human rights abuses, there are a lot of common sense things residents don’t know about the prison population.

According to Councilman Jumaane Williams, approximately 80 percent of the population has not been convicted of a crime and are there because they are too poor to afford bail.

For residents concerned about the plan, which will install smaller detention centers near each county courthouse, just know there are more prisons than you think throughout New York City, possibly even in your community.

There’s the Queens Detention Center in Jamaica, the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan and the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn, to name a few.

Many of these facilities are holding violent criminals convicted of serious crimes, like Mexican drug lord “El Chapo,” but as a resident you have to trust that the government will protect the general population.

Also, residents fearing the increase of accused criminals in the neighborhood should know many of them are being transported to the county courthouses on a daily basis. So these accused criminals are actually being shipped all across New York City.

Wouldn’t it make much more sense to only have to transport them within a building or to an adjacent facility? Theoretically, with less transportation there’s a smaller chance of something going wrong.

The de Blasio administration and all of the activists that have worked to close the facility should be celebrated this week for coming up with common sense solutions to a big problem.
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