New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio expressed a desire to close Rikers Island. A new city report said it’ll take a decade. A 51-page report titled “Smaller Safer Fairer: A Roadmap to Closing Rikers Island,” indicates that closing the jail would take 10 years, a decline in the facility’s populations, political advocacy, an increase in capital funds and a continued decrease in crime.
A wave of revulsion and anger swept through the drug reform community with the news that the New York City health department’s final count for 2016 overdose deaths was 1,347.
During Ken Thompson’s short tenure, the Brooklyn D.A.’s office entered the national conversation on criminal justice reform. And the race to succeed Thompson is now taking place amid the discussion of how to close Rikers, an effort in which prosecutors will play a pivotal role.
Starting on June 14, about three dozen tenants, homeless individuals and housing advocates slept outside Cuomo’s Third Avenue headquarters for three nights, forming a makeshift encampment. Dubbed “Cuomoville” by organizers, the camp was meant to invoke Depression-era shanty villages. Activists criticized the Governor for not doing enough to address housing issues in the city and state.
Advocates, public health experts and service providers rallied in front of City Hall this morning to urge the city to increase funding and political action toward developing a public health approach to end record overdose deaths in the city.
A coalition of housing groups is planning to camp out to pressure Gov. Andrew Cuomo to stop the growing problem of homelessness and take action to protect renters. The groups involved include some of the most active in New York City: Alliance for Tenant Power (an umbrella organization of eight other groups including New York Communities for Change, Make the Road NY, and others), Community Voices Heard, Vocal-NY, Citizen Action of New York and Manufactured Housing Action. They’re going to erect what they’ve called “Cuomoville” outside Gov. Cuomo’s office to demand action.
Prison reform advocates critical of Rikers shutdown plan corner de Blasio as he works out in his Park Slope gym
A Facebook video published by the group CLOSErikers shows activists approaching de Blasio’s yoga mat as he was still doubled-over Friday morning, urging him to close Rikers Island Correctional Center faster than he has proposed.
Last week, elected officials and activists directed New Yorkers’ attention to the increase in fare evasion arrests on New York City subways. With the implementation of yet another fare hike, many low-income and rent-burdened city dwellers have taken to jumping the turnstile or somehow finding their way onto the train without paying because they can’t afford the fare.
It’s a question of will; you want to solve the drug problem, give them the max, says Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III, the man Donald Trump chose to be his attorney general. In line with that thinking, Sessions is torpedoing a three-year experiment that encourages leniency before its impact could be examined.
The city’s decision to dedicate a large portion of new funds for reducing opioid-overdose deaths to an NYPD initiative to arrest more drug dealers is justified because of the potency of the drug fentanyl, Mayor Bill de Blasio said in response to questions Monday evening. But those who want the city to move away from the war on drugs and toward a public-health approach to drug use aren’t convinced.