The New York Civil Liberties Union cheered news that a long-awaited plan to shutter Rikers Island has the support of both Mayor Bill de Blasio and City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito. The plan, which comes from a commission led by former chief justice Jonathan Lippman, calls for the facility to be closed within a decade.
The following statement is attributable to NYCLU Executive Director, Donna Lieberman:
“We are relieved that the end of Rikers Island is finally in sight. An institution as dysfunctional and corrupt as Rikers has no place in a humane justice system. The Speaker put closing Rikers front-and-center on everyone's agenda and we're pleased that the Lippman Commission’s plan has also won the support of the Mayor. We will continue to press for essential criminal justice reforms, like speedy trial and bail reform, to make the presumption of innocence a reality and we will never forget what the system did to Kalief Browder.”