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Notorious Rikers Island Prison in New York closes

New York wants to replace the huge prison complex with smaller prisons by 2026. Because of the aging infrastructure and frequent violence, the closure was often requested.

The infamous prison island Rikers Island in New York is to be closed. The city council approved a multi-billion dollar plan on Thursday to replace the huge prison complex with smaller prisons by 2026. Due to the aging infrastructure and frequent violence, the closure was often requested.

For years, human rights activists and forensic scientists in particular have criticized the conditions in the prison, in which prominent inmates such as the rapper Tupac Shakur and the former IMF boss Dominique Strauss-Kahn were held. New York City Council has now approved Mayor Bill de Blasio’s $ 8.7 billion (€ 7.8 billion) plan. “The age of mass incarceration is over,” De Blasio told journalists. In the 1990s, up to 20,000 people were housed on the prison island; at last it was around 8,000.

Instead of Rikers Iceland is to create four new prisons in the districts of Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx. The city government promises better prison conditions in the new facilities, and they should also be safer and easier to reach for the relatives of the prisoners. This is to facilitate the rehabilitation of the prisoners after their release.

The city government’s decision also provoked protests. Criticism was particularly loud of De Blasio’s plan, Rikers To replace Iceland with detention centers close to the center. Other opponents of the plan called for the money granted to be used to combat the causes of crime. (APA)

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