On Friday, March 31, 2017 Mayor de Blasio announced that he will put his full support behind a plan to close Rikers Island within ten years, which includes cutting the jail population in half.
On Sunday, April 2, 2017, the Independent Commission on New York City Criminal Justice and Incarceration Reform, headed by Judge Jonathan Lippman, and called into existence by City Council Speaker Melissa Mark Viverito just over a year ago, released its report calling for the closing of Rikers as an "essential step toward a more effective and more humane criminal justice system." The report contains an extensive blueprint for the accomplishment of these goals.
NASW-NYC Chapter has been an organizational partner on the campaign to #CLOSErikers since its inception last April, 2016. In the past year, members have participated in marches, rallies, Lippmann Commission community meetings, calls to action, and in all facets of the campaign. Here is the official press release about the Mayor's announcement.
There is much to be done to make the closing of Rikers and establishing a more humane system a reality, and I know that many of our members will be part of this. We send out updates from the Chapter office frequently about the ongoing work. Let us know if you are interested in getting more involved. Join us tomorrow for the monthly (first Tuesday) meeting of our Coalition on Race, Diversity and Intersectionality, whose criminal justice collective workgroup will continue with this issue.
Please join us at the Rally at City Hall on April 24, 2017 marking the one year anniversary of the campaign: https://www.facebook.com/events/1655554661417078/
Below are some additional articles on this important achievement.
Rikers: The Case For Closure