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New York city council votes to close infamous Rikers Island jails

18:50, Friday, 18 October, 2019
New York city council votes to close infamous Rikers Island jails

The New York City Council voted on Thursday to close the city’s infamous Rikers Island jail complex by 2026, casting off a detention system plagued by chronic violence and decrepit facilities, as the nation rethinks mass incarceration.

The council approved an $8.7 billion legislative package to close Rikers and three other jails, replace them with four more humane facilities throughout the city, and eventually turn Rikers Island itself into a public space.

“Rikers Island is a symbol of brutality and inhumanity and it is time for us to once and for all close Rikers Island,” City Council Speaker Corey Johnson told colleagues before the vote.

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