“New York City is required by law to close Rikers by 2027, and the City Council remains committed to ensuring this Administration adheres to that deadline. We know there’s been significant progress in the procurement of contracts for borough-based jails, and physical work began at each site in early 2022. Any borough-based jail contract must align with the 2027 mandate for Rikers’ closure. The inconsistent statements from the Administration over the past days have unacceptably created questions where there should be none – Rikers must close by 2027 and we cannot allow it to continue undermining public safety across our city.

“Last year, 19 people died in our jail system, making it the deadliest year in a decade. The City’s failure to effectively address the mental health crisis has allowed Rikers to become a de facto mental health facility without the appropriate services. Half of its population has a mental health diagnosis, too often worsened by cycling through the criminal legal system. The staff and New Yorkers detained there are subjected to continuing levels of violence and trauma that perpetuate cycles of harm. This cannot continue.

“The evidence is clear on programs that reduce recidivism and improve public safety, but a passive approach that fails to deepen the City’s use of them will lead to failure and a less safe city. The Administration and all stakeholders must commit to solutions that prevent crime, reduce the excessive jail population, make our jails safer, and stop the revolving door. Among these are increased interventions that divert people to effective mental health treatment, as well as re-entry programs that provide job opportunities, supportive housing, and stability for people to return successfully to communities. The path forward is continuing towards the closure of Rikers by 2027, and investing in our communities and programs that create and sustain a safer city. This is the only plan that serves our city.”