City & State | Closing Rikers Island

November 30, 2015
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City & State: Closing Rikers Island

Taken from City & State,

Taken from City & State,

City & State published a four-part series Closing Rikers Island, by Ed Morales. Part III: The Fix  and Part IV: The End  discuss the event Rikers Island: Reform it or Shut it Down? hosted at The New School and co-sponsored by the Center for New York City AffairsJustLeadershipUSA, and the Humanities Action Lab:

Part III: “At a recent forum at The New School’s Milano School of International Affairs, Management, and Urban Policy, the Marshall Project’s Barsky was dismayed with de Blasio’s criticism of Justice Patricia Nuñez for letting Holder’s accused killed go to drug-diversion rehab instead of jail. ‘I’m not as optimistic about closing Rikers as I was when I wrote the piece this summer,’ Barsky said of his New York Times op-ed arguing that closing the facility could be a crucial legacy-builder for the mayor. ‘Are we one horrible event from backsliding? That’s all it took for the mayor to go to war against a judge who apparently complied with every guideline. … It’s a horrible signal in my opinion for what lies ahead.'”

Part IV: “Lawyer-activists like Khary Lazarre-White, executive director of advocacy group The Brotherhood/Sister Sol, thinks the political push to end Rikers must be motivated by priorities about racial justice. ‘If (reforming and possibly closing Rikers) has previously been articulated by policymakers, if we have an administration that says that it wants to transform the issue, where is the big-vision thinking? Why is it not occurring? Where is the political capital?’ he mused at the New School forum. ‘I think the answer is that the people on Rikers Island are poor and overwhelmingly black and brown, and it is not a priority.'”

Click here to read the series in full.