Rikers Island, the notorious jail complex located in New York City, is due to close by 2026. On Thursday, October 17th, 2019, New York City council members approved the plan to close down the jail complex with a 36-13 vote in favor of closing. According to the plan, Rikers will be replaced with four smaller borough-based jails that are to be located near courthouses in Manhattan, the Bronx, Brooklyn, and Queens. The Mayor of New York City, Bill de Blasio, and Democrats have all voiced their support of the plan, which is estimated to cost more than $8 billion dollars. Opponents argue that the closure will put public safety at risk. Despite protests against its closure, city officials claim that crime rates are falling and the jail population has decreased, making it feasible to close the jail complex.
Instructors, click on the link below to download this week’s lecture for use in your classroom.
The deck contains a writing prompt, a debate question, as well as other assessment questions.
- Writing: How does the new plan to build four smaller jails impact decarceration efforts?
- Debate: The closure of the Rikers Island jail complex will compromise public safety.
- Poll: Do you believe that the plan to close Rikers Island and open four smaller jails will be successful?
- Short Answer: What factors have led to the drop in crime rates and jail population rates in the city of New York?
Current Events Quiz
1.) The notorious Rikers Island jail complex has become synonymous with
a. prisoners’ rights
b. violence and neglect
c. rehabilitation and programming
d. reintegration and reentry
2.) According to news reports, the closure of the Rikers Island jail complex comes with a price tag of approximately
a. $21 billion
b. $11 billion
c. $8 billion
d. $37 billion
3.) The number of people incarcerated in New York still is about ______ today.
- Rikers Island is a symbol for brutality and inhumanity. (T/F)
- The Rikers Island jail complex has mainly housed inmates waiting for trial. (T/F)
- Proponents of the Rikers Island jail complex closure claim that the move will put public safety at risk. (T/F)
Featured Image: WikimediaCommons/Herr Satz