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New York City to Close First Jail on Rikers Island by Summer 2018

The de Blasio Administration announced on January 2 that it will close its first jail on Rikers Island this summer as part of Mayor de Blasio’s plan to close Rikers Island. The closure is made possible by the dramatic reduction of the City’s jail population, which fell below 9,000 for the month of December, a record-low figure last reported in 1982. As of January 1, the Department of Correction’s jail population is 8,705.

JoAnne Page, President and CEO of the Fortune Society said, “In shutting down GMDC, Mayor de Blasio has moved us one important step nearer – both symbolic and concrete – to closing Rikers Island. But, the challenge ahead is a significant one: how to keep taking the big steps needed to increase both justice and community safety. Achieving this will require bringing down our jail population by locking up fewer people and processing cases faster, while ensuring that critical alternative to incarceration and reentry services – like those provided by Fortune and our sister agencies – are available to keep people from recidivating. Nothing less than a coordinated and full-scale effort by those in the criminal- and social-justice communities will be required. At Fortune, where more than half of our staff and much of our leadership have been incarcerated at Rikers, we understand why this is so important and we will continue to work with the Mayor to make this an achievable reality.”

Read more on the official website of the City of New York.

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