In the spring of 2017, the City committed to closing the jails on Rikers Island and creating a network of modern and humane borough-based jails. This smaller jail system, built upon a foundation of dignity and respect, would house a jail population of approximately 5,000, reflecting the reality that both crime and the number of people in jail have continued to fall.
This borough-based system would strengthen connections to families, attorneys, courts, medical and mental health care, and faith and community-based organizations. Being closer to home and transit would enhance the network of support systems for people who are detained, and help prevent future returns to jail.
The new facilities would be designed to foster safety and wellbeing for both those incarcerated and for staff, providing space for quality education, health, and therapeutic programming. Modern facilities would also serve as a catalyst for positive change in the community and the criminal justice system.
Community engagement in this process is critical, as the path forward relies on continued support for this vision. The City is leading a public review process to engage people who are detained, staff, families, service providers, attorneys, advocates, community members, and neighborhood groups to ensure that the voices of New Yorkers from all communities can help shape the plan. Through this process, concerns about design and neighborhood impacts will be heard and taken into account. To view the Environmental Assessment Statement (EAS), Positive Declaration, and Draft Scope of Work (DSoW) for the Borough Based Jail System click here .To receive updates and view information on community engagement please visit: https://rikers.cityofnewyork.us/nyc-borough-based-jails/