NYC mayor supports closing of notorious Rikers prison

Indo Asian News Service

New York, April 1 (IANS) The mayor of New York City has supported the idea of closing down city's notorious prison on Rikers Island.

According to a report in the BBC on Friday, Mayor Bill de Blasio was developing a plan to close the prison within 10 years. However, the details of the plan have not been released yet.

"Closing Rikers will be 'long and arduous', but that local officials and stakeholders have a 'moral obligation' to do so," Blasio was quoted as saying.

Blasio had previously said that replacing the large jail complex that houses 10,000 inmates would be too expensive.

"It will take many years. It will take many tough decisions along the way, but it will happen," he said.

Mr de Blasio believes that it would require to cut the jail population in half to close the prison.

"The length of this process will also require continued investment in the facilities and conditions on Rikers Island that remain key to rehabilitation efforts for thousands of New Yorkers in the years ahead," he added.

An independent commission has been reviewing ways to close Rikers.

The commission was formed after a series of cases revealed questionable practices at the prison complex.