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Statement from Senator Kavanagh on New York City's Plan to Close Rikers Island

Senator Kavanagh released the following statement upon the City's release of the scoping documents detailing the plan for closing Rikers Island:

"Closing Rikers Island and creating a more humane and effective criminal justice system is a moral imperative. Achieving this will require an ambitious plan, including significant changes--and some expanded capacity--near the courthouses in Manhattan and Brooklyn, as well as the other boroughs. So the City's broad goal is admirable, but, to date, the process has been a fiasco," said Senator Kavanagh. "Key decisions that clearly have been in the works for a while were made in secret; there has been very limited community outreach; and what little communication the City has attempted has been highly selective, excluding many relevant stakeholders. This approach is already making the process unnecessarily divisive and diminishing the chances that they will achieve meaningful reform. It is my hope that the City will do better going forward and include all stakeholders in an open dialogue that includes a wider range of options for achieving the critical goals of justice system reform and gives due consideration to the concerns of the communities in which our jails will be located."

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