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NYC politician wants Rikers Island renamed for Kalief Browder

NYC politician wants Rikers Island renamed for Kalief Browder

"I urge the mayor to immediately implement an online bail payment system, as he promised, expand the BEX program, support my bill to give judges defendants' financial information before bail decisions are set, and bolster the adolescent diversion program and Project Reset".

The plan also calls for the city to open five smaller jails, with one in each of the five boroughs.

"It's really appreciative and thoughtful", said his older brother Akeem Browder, 34.

"The Island is uniquely positioned to accommodate an expanded LaGuardia Airport that would reduce delays and could serve as many as 12 million more passengers annually", the report says.

The 27-member commission, formed previous year by City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and led by former New York Chief Justice Jonathan Lippman, argued closing Rikers is needed because the correctional complex's mass incarceration model has done little to rehabilitate convicts, and instead has fostered a culture of brutality and inhumane treatment of inmates.

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"When I got to Rikers Island, just the conditions of it- being in a cell block with 90 individuals with 8 showers, 2 televisions, and 2 telephones - just generated the ongoing violence and attitude of corruption that Rikers Island represents", he said. We believe that can be achieved in the next 10 years.

But City Councilman Rory Lancman (D-Hillcrest) said the mayor can do even better. "Now let's be clear [about] what this is going to take".

In place of the nine facilities on Rikers Island that hold approximately 7,500 inmates, the proposal calls for establishing or reopening a jail in each borough.

Any new jails would still have to go through the city's Uniform Land Use Review Procedure, known as ULURP. "With the release of this report and the support of the mayor as announced on Friday, we can now say that the dream of closing Rikers will become a reality", Viverito stated. Such a system would cost over $10 billion. Those reports included the suicide of Kalief Browder, who hanged himself after spending three years jailed - mostly in solitary - without trial and a homeless ex-Marine who essentially baked to death in a hot cell.

"Many elected officials need convincing". The announcement raised a lot of questions as to where the city will house jail inmates, and what will happen to the 400-plus acres of land on the island.


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