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While many criminal justice reform activists believe that the only way to address the horrific conditions at Rikers Island is to have it shut down, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio thinks otherwise. According to the New York Daily News, instead of shuttering the correctional facility, he will unveil a plan to renovate Rikers Island.

From the New York Daily News:

Mayor de Blasio has promised to release his own long-term plan for the massive 10-jail complex within swimming distance of LaGuardia Airport in the coming months – and it doesn’t include shuttering the facility.

Officials tell the Daily News the mayor’s plan includes resuming construction on a controversial new jail on the island that has been stalled since he took office, along with the roughly more than $1 billion dollars worth of improvements on the island included in his 10-year preliminary budget.

Advocates and other elected officials say the only way to fix Rikers is to tear the place down and scatter modern jails in neighborhoods across the city – an idea staunchly opposed by some vocal groups in the communities that would be affected.

Aside from the horrendous conditions inside of the facility, many criminal justice reform advocates say that Rikers Island should be closed down due to the population decrease in the city’s jails, reports the outlet. According to the New York Daily News, the jail population is 9,750 less than what it was 26 years ago.

Under his plan, he will reportedly allocate $170 million to rebuild the Horizon center located in the Bronx in efforts to move young inmates off of Rikers Island, reports the Daily News. At Rikers, he plans to add two new schools, two wings that will house 700 beds, and a mental health facility for inmates.

SOURCE: New York Daily News

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