By Eric Klein
New York City’s Planning Commission on Tuesday voted in favor of a plan that would replace the sprawling detention facilities on Rikers Island with new jails in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, and Manhattan.
The plan, backed by the de Blasio administration, now goes to the City Council for a vote. Nearly $9 billion has been budgeted to carry out the construction and opening of the four jails, which would house significantly fewer prisoners than Rikers Island.
The twelve Rikers facilities have long been plagued by violence, instances of corruption, and what critics say are unlivable conditions.
But the plan to replace them with community jails has come under fire, too, with some Bronx officials lobbying for a new location closer to Bronx Supreme Court—and many activists calling on the city to close Rikers without building any replacement jails.
Protestors demonstrated against the plan at Tuesday’s meeting, but commission members voted in favor, 9-3.