New York City to Cut Jail Population in Half by 2026: Report - NBC New York

New York City to Cut Jail Population in Half by 2026: Report

New York City wants to see a significant drop in the jail population, a report says

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Mayor Announces 4 New Jail Locations in NYC

    Mayor de Blasio has announced the locations of four new municipal jails in New York City.

    (Published Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2018)

    What to Know

    • A new report released by New York City estimates the average daily jail population will be cut in half by 2026

    • A report predicts the number of inmates in the city's jails will drop from 7,000 to 3,300 by 2026, according to the New York Daily News

    • The City Council's land use committee passed a resolution to remap Rikers Island that would "prohibit any jails" on the island after 2026

    New York City's average daily jail population will be cut in half by 2026, according to a new report.

    A report by the City Council and the Mayor's Office of Criminal Justice predicts the number of inmates in the city's jails will drop from 7,000 to 3,300 by 2026, the New York Daily News reported Sunday.

    “With the lowest rate of incarceration in any major city, we are disproving the notion that we must arrest and imprison our way to (a) safer city," Mayor Bill de Blasio told the outlet. 

    The city projects declines in the number of people charged with violent felonies, people charged with non-violent felonies and people charged with misdemeanors, the report said. State parole violations are also expected to drop, the report found, although that number rose since 2014.

    Newsday via Getty Images

    "This is the culmination of years of hard work to move away from the failed policies of mass incarceration," City Council Speaker Corey Johnson tweeted Sunday.

    "But we will keep fighting to bring this number down even further. New York City should be a model of progressive criminal justice reform nationwide," Johnson added.

    On Thursday, the City Council's land use committee approved a resolution to remap Rikers Island that would prohibit jailing inmates on the island after 2026, the council said in a statement.

    Later this week, the Council is expected to take a vote on whether to shut down Rikers Island and build four smaller lockups located in densely populated neighborhoods, according to the outlet. 

    Officials decided to shut down Rikers by 2027 following years of complaints about violence by guards and gang members, mistreatment of the mentally ill and juveniles and unjustly long detention for minor offenders.

    Advocates for the closure have also argued that the island facility near La Guardia Airport — accessible only by a narrow bridge — is too isolated, cutting off inmates from the outside world in a way that hinders oversight and rehabilitation.

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