In a plan to help end mass incarceration, and a vicious cycle of violence, Mayor Bill de Blasio plans to completely shut down all Rikers Island jails within the span of 10 years. One of the nine jails in the complex, George Motchan Detention Center, will be shutting down this summer, The New York Post reports.
The detention center houses about 600 men and will transfer these inmates to other sites, according to the Department of Corrections. Yet this move will not result in any layoffs of staff. However, the move will reduce overtime payments and costs.
“This announcement is an important step in our plan to close Rikers Island and create more community-based facilities to better serve people in custody and our hard-working correctional staff,” Mayor de Blasio said.
Additionally, the de Blasio administration has reportedly introduced a number of initiatives of alternative programs instead of incarceration for low-level crimes. The closing of GMDC follows the significant decrease in arrests in the city since 1982—reportedly it’s been reduced by 8,705 as of January 1.
But the population needs to hit 5,000 for Rikers Island to be completely eliminated, and replaced by community-based correctional facilities in each borough. Staten Island is the only borough not required to house any inmates. Currently, the borough facilities can only house 2,300 inmates, which is why the city is working on constructing more locations.