Seth Wenig / AP
New York City Council voted Thursday 36-13 to approve a plan to close the city's notorious prison complex on Rikers Island by 2026 in favor of four smaller prisons scattered around the city.
Under the $ 8 Billion Plan The four new or expanded prisons will be located in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Bronx, and Queens districts, closer to existing courthouses.
The proposal was born from the conclusion of Mayor Bill de Blasio and other democrats who were imprisoned, and a massive prison complex is off balance in times of falling crime rates. There are currently about 7,000 inmates in Rikers every day, while in 1991, during the peak of the crack epidemic, there were nearly 22,000. The plan envisages a further reduction of prison inmates to 3,300 or more over the next six years.
"What we do today will reshape the city for future generations and affect the lives of every New Yorker," city council spokesman Corey Johnson said Thursday. "For decades, our city was unfair to those involved in the judiciary, and the vast majority of respondents were black and brown men."
The plan is rejected by the Correction Officers & # 39; Benevolent Association and some residents of neighborhoods near the local prison locations.
Others say the move is not timely and endangers public safety as "more violent and difficult to handle" – all the more without leaving dangerous criminals on the streets, "wrote Rafael A. Mangual, an employee of the Manhattan Institute , a conservative think tank, before the vote on the closure of Rikers.
Proponents of Rikers' closure say the move is in line with a wave of other criminal law reforms.
Simple cases of marijuana possession are rarely prosecuted In January, a new state law banning bail for most crimes and non-violent offenses will come into effect, meaning that fewer people are expected to be detained while awaiting trial.
Rikers, a complex of 10 prisons On an island between Queens and the Bronx, mainly housed inmates who were on the process It is notorious for violence, inhumane circumstances and neglect.