The Rikers Island shuttering process will begin soon. New York City announced Tuesday that the George Motchan Detention Center will become the first of nine facilities to close, CBS New York reported. The jail, which currently holds roughly 600 men, will close this summer.
"Every day we are making New York City's jail system smaller and safer," New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a press release. "This announcement is an important step in our plan to close Rikers Island and create more community-based facilities to better serve people in custody and our hard-working correctional staff."
"Closing a jail is one of many steps toward modernizing our entire justice system," said Elizabeth Glazer, who leads de Blasio's Office of Criminal Justice and serves as the Justice Implementation Task Force's co-chair. "We are reimagining and reforming how jails function as we are safely shrinking the size of the population."
For the first time since 1982, the city's jail population drop to below 9,000 for the moth of December. The population stood at 8,705 as of Monday. "The closure of the George Motchan Detention Center on Rikers Island is evidence of this administration's commitment to criminal justice reform," Assembly Correction Committee chair David Weprin said of de Blasio's latest update on his Rikers plan.
An exact date for the just-announced George Motchan Detention Center closure has not been set.