Statement On Mayor’s Rikers Island Announcement

Tina Luongo, Attorney-In-Charge of the Criminal Defense Practice at The Legal Aid Society, released the following statement this morning responding to Mayor Bill de Blasio’s announcement regarding Rikers Island.

“The City’s plans to close Rikers Island are moving in the right direction, but shuttering the facility as soon as possible must be an explicit goal for Mayor de Blasio. We cannot allow our clients and other low-income New Yorkers to experience continued suffering at the hands of Rikers Correctional guards for another decade. We are also concerned that this plan does not include a facility on Staten Island, a policy which will put families and support networks farther away for incarcerated people. Having these networks is critical for a successful return to the community. We urge the City to factor this reality into plans immediately.”