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Ditching Rikers Island for native jails would create ‘humanitarian crisis’


A “humanitarian crisis” may ensue if Rikers Island is changed by the under-sized borough-based jails championed by former Mayor Bill de Blasio, a new Manhattan Institute study finds.

Four, 825-person services can be 1000’s of beds in need of housing the roughly 5,600 folks housed in metropolis jails on a median evening, a inhabitants which may improve if crime rises in upcoming years forward of Rikers slated 2027 closing, the 34-page report notes.

“The result will either be severe overcrowding, creating conditions that may be even worse than those on Rikers, or the release of many hundreds of dangerous or flight-prone offenders onto the streets, exacerbating the city’s crime and disorder problems,” the right-leaning assume tank argues.

While “refurbishing or repurchasing closed jails; constructing small additional borough jails. in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens and The Bronx “and ‘boarding out’ detainees to Long Island and Westchester County” may enhance metropolis jail capability, the report argues it could hardly be sufficient to interchange Rikers.

Multiple services on the island collectively home 15,000 or so folks serving brief sentences or awaiting trial, although it has been stricken by violence that has inspired calls for a federal takeover.

“Charging ahead with the borough-based jails plan is a recipe for disaster. It will create a system incapable of detaining everyone it needs to detain,” the report states.

New York City legislation requires jails on Rikers Island shut by 2027.
AP

Mayor Adams has equally argued how crime will increase, and the unlikelihood of great drops within the metropolis jail inhabitants, must preclude Rikers from closing whereas noting the present metropolis legislation required him to get the job carried out.

“I need the folks that are idealistic to deal with the realism of this,” he added. “People are committing violent crimes,” he stated Aug. 31, according to the Brooklyn Daily Eagle.

The City Council approved plans for the borough-based jails on the behest of Mayor Bill de Blasio in 2019.

“We have to have a plan B, because those who have created plan A, that I inherited, obviously didn’t think about a plan B … If we don’t drop down the prison population the way they thought we were, what do we do – no one answered that question,” Adams stated.

De Blasio championed efforts to interchange jails on Rikers Island with 4 jails in Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn and The Bronx.
Stefan Jeremiah for New York Pos

A mayoral spokesperson didn’t present instant remark Thursday about how he would strategy the difficulty of capability at future jails in mild of the report launched by the Manhattan Institute on Thursday.

Some pols say the Manhattan Institute evaluation fails to take note of how jailing fewer folks for minor crimes particularly would possibly make it simpler to shut Rikers.

“Instead of building more and bigger jails, New Yorkers deserve a commitment of more resources to community-based solutions such as improved access to medical and mental health care, increased use of proven restorative justice practices, safe and affordable housing, and real job opportunities with living wages,” state Senate Corrections Chair Julia Salazar (D-Brooklyn) advised The Post Thursday.

Standing Eric Adams laughing
Mayor Eric Adams has questioned the “realism” of closing Rikers by 2027.
AP

But longtime opponents of the plan say the research vindicates what they’ve been saying for years.

Queens Community Board 9 Land Use Chair Sylvia Hack, a longtime resident of Kew Gardens the place one jail is deliberate, claimed Thursday that the Manhattan Institute research bolsters the argument that changing Rikers with neighborhood jails is “pie in the sky.”

“All they’re doing is transferring Rikers to four residential communities that can’t provide what is needed,” Hack stated.

“This is ludicrous. The city plan is not going to achieve its objectives.”

A sign outside Rikers Island
Eighteen jailed folks have died on the infamous Rikers Island this yr.
J.C.Rice

She additionally famous that about half of the town’s inmates who’re incarcerated have some type of psychological well being challenge and the present Rikers phase-out plan doesn’t adequately tackle their issues.

Hack stated a facility to serve inmates with psychological well being wants might be constructed on Rikers, which has the house, whereas the neighborhood websites don’t.

“Rikers Island is 413 acres!,” she stated.

The Community Preservation Coalition, which opposes the borough-based jails plan, estimated it could price $15 billion, practically double the $8.6 billion projected by the town.
“What we have here is expensive insanity,” Hack stated.  



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