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NYC to close notorious Rikers Island jail

| Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2018, 3:21 p.m.
A solitary confinement cell at New York's Rikers Island jail. New York City Council leaders say they’ve reached an agreement that will close the notorious jail complex and instead house inmates in smaller jails located around the city.
Bebeto Matthews/AP
A solitary confinement cell at New York's Rikers Island jail. New York City Council leaders say they’ve reached an agreement that will close the notorious jail complex and instead house inmates in smaller jails located around the city.
New York City Council leaders say they’ve reached an agreement that will close the notorious Rikers Island jail complex and instead house inmates in smaller jails located around the city.
New York City Council leaders say they’ve reached an agreement that will close the notorious Rikers Island jail complex and instead house inmates in smaller jails located around the city.

NEW YORK — Mayor Bill de Blasio and New York City Council leaders say they've reached an agreement that will close the notorious Rikers Island jail complex and instead house inmates in smaller jails located around the city.

De Blasio and Speaker Corey Johnson, a fellow Democrat, announced the deal Wednesday, just hours after a state watchdog commission said Rikers was one of the five worst local jails in New York state.

The mayor said the agreement is a “huge step forward” in closing Rikers, where violence, mismanagement and corruption have come under scrutiny.

The plan calls for incarcerating inmates at existing jails in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens and at a new facility in the Bronx.

De Blasio says such a plan will create a “safer and fairer” borough-based jail system.

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