Mayor Bill de Blasio will finally visit Rikers Island at 3:30 p.m. Monday, after promising last week to observe the conditions at the beleaguered city jail complex with his own eyes, according to a source.
The mayor is set to speak to reporters about his tour of the lockup afterward, according to his public schedule. Reporters will not be able to accompany de Blasio on his visit inside the disorderly jail.
The head of the city jail system has acknowledged “serious problems” at the complex.
“Next week, I’ll go visit. I think it’s time, because we’ve been able to address a number of issues, and I want to see if the solutions are working or whatever other things we have to do,” the mayor said Friday morning on WNYC’s “The Brian Lehrer Show” during his regularly scheduled appearance on the morning program.
“It’s time to go out.”
His visit was announced after de Blasio said hours earlier that “dozens” of people in custody will be set free in an early release program as part of City Hall’s efforts to reduce the amount of detainees held at the out-of-control jail.
“Every case is being looked at individually,” said the mayor at his Monday morning press briefing. “We’re going to figure out what that number is and then announce it.”
“To my understanding, it’s dozens, it’s not hundreds.”
The mayor has maintained that the city will focus on setting free Rikers inmates who based on prior alleged actions are not likely to act violently.
About 180 people in custody at Rikers are eligible to be let free under Article 6A of the state Correction Law, which allows the mayor to discharge certain people into a supervised release program.
The process that determines who is and isn’t likely to reoffend would be completed “this week,” the mayor said tentatively, as he promised to disclose “specific numbers as soon as evaluation is done.”
But de Blasio downplayed the effects of the city’s 6A releases.
“It’s just not going to be a game-changing number. … The real big impact is these actions that we take with the state, where we’re moving hundreds of people out over the course of weeks,” he said. “That’s where we’re going to see the big population reduction.”
“I believe in relatively short order we can get the population under 5,000.”
Rikers Island’s population currently sits at 5,655, according to the mayor.
Published on: Article source