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New York City Mayor Announces Plan To Shut Rikers Island Jail


The infamous prison on Rikers Island may be closed within 10 years. New York Mayor Bill de Blasio told a press conference yesterday it will take many tough decisions along the way, but it will happen. Rikers is a complex of 10 jails on an island that sits between the Bronx and Queens. It began to open in 1935, and you cannot see a New York police drama without hearing Rikers used as a threat and often an epithet.

The jail holds about 10,000 inmates. Most are awaiting trial or serving sentences of less than a year, and there have been numerous court cases and investigations into inmates being abused and brutalized. Mayor de Blasio has endorsed a plan to build a system of smaller jails in New York's boroughs. That plan is estimated to cost at least $10 billion and may have to overcome opposition from neighborhoods that do not want a prison nearby. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.