Mayor Bill de Blasio’s “Roadmap to Closing Rikers Island” details how he will close the jail within ten years, focusing on the goals of reducing the jail population, building four new facilities within the boroughs for a “safer” environment, and creating a “fairer” system. However, dismantling Rikers Island, a jail that has kept our city safe for decades, would invite violence and crime into our streets.
“The logic of removing Rikers Island makes no sense to anyone I have spoken to, yet it’s real,” Murray questions, “Why would we want to transfer them to local detention centers within the streets of our county and city?” Even Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, House of Representative NY-14, has joined the fight to dismantle Rikers Island, with her “They have to drink from toilets” chant, which she used when addressing the southern border. “It’s almost laughable sometimes!” Murray comments, “I believe that Representative Ocasio-Cortez should go back to speaking about subjects that she knows about and stay out of the incarceration business.”
“Rikers Island is not a place that you want to go, and it should not be! It’s a prison,” Joe recently said in an interview, “It is designed to keep the prisoners away from the public. There are separate facilities for men, women, and children. People are efficiently processed, and placed in areas where they can’t leave. That is the purpose of prison. When I go to the Brooklyn detention center to meet with clients, there is always a lockdown or incident because the facility is just not as safe as Rikers Island. These things do not happen with such frequency on Rikers Island.”
Joe Murray knows that as Queens DA, he will have a say in the future of Rikers Island. While he admits that the facility definitely needs to be updated, he is firm that the prisoners should not be released to wreak havoc, nor should they taken to other parts of the city. It offers an inescapable place to house violent prisoners, so there isn’t a facility that is comparable to it.