NEW YORK — Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Wednesday an agreement to move forward on closing Rikers Island and create a "smaller, safer and fairer borough-based jail system."
Officials agreed to a single public review process for four proposed sites in Manhattan, Brooklyn, the Bronx and Queens — the sites providing off-Island space for about 5,000 detainees.
The facilities will include the three existing DOC facilities in Manhattan Brooklyn and Queens as well as a new site in the Mott Haven in the Bronx:
- Manhattan Detention Center, 125 White Street, Manhattan, 10013
- Brooklyn Detention Center, 275 Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn, 11201
- Queens Detention Center, 126-01 82ndAvenue, Kew Gardens, 11415
- NYPD Tow Pound, 320 Concord Avenue, Bronx, 10454
The sites will go through a public review, including hearings and recommendations by local officials. The agreement proposes to renovate, expand or construct jails in the four locations into a single process, which will allow for an expedited review. The Bronx will not be repurposing a current detention center — Instead, the city will build a new facility.
The announcement marks a major step in de Blasio’s process to close Rikers Island, first announced last year, with the city introducing a number of programs that have lessened jail population, including new programs that replace short jail sentences for minor, low-level offenses.
The announcement was made days after a correction officer was brutally attacked by Rikers inmates. The attackers, all under the age of 21, allegedly attacked officer Jean Roston Souffrant, 39, while he was on duty, fracturing his spine and causing brain injury. Four of the six inmates were slammed with charges following the gang assault.