More than 200 women and transgender inmates will be relocated from Rikers Island by Hochul and de Blasio.
New York Governor Kathy Hochul announced Wednesday that an estimated 230 inmates at Rikers Island in New York will be temporarily transferred to two state prisons as local authorities try to address the “grave and complex” circumstances at the jail.
According to Hochul’s office, the prisoner transfers, which include “almost all of the women and trans-identified individuals now detained” at Rikers, were reached in coordination with New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. The people affected by the transfer will be sent to either the Bedford Hills Correctional Facility or the Taconic Correctional Facility, both of which are run by the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision and are located north of the city in Westchester County.
Hochul said in a statement issued by her office that the situation at Rikers Island, which has drawn the attention of lawmakers and human rights campaigners in recent months, “needs strong action” from state and municipal governments.
In addition to relocating the offenders to “safer State facilities,” Hochul said in a tweet on Wednesday that the decision will “help ease staffing problems, capacity limits, and improve safety for many until the City can devise a lasting solution that will bring justice to Rikers.”
In a statement, De Blasio said he was “honored” to be a part of the collaboration, which he claimed will “bring critical respite” to the institution.
“Our Rikers Island reform efforts have made good headway, and our borough-based jails plans are moving forward and will totally overhaul this system—but at this critical juncture, there is no replacement for quick cooperation from our State partners,” the mayor stated.
The transfers are slated to begin next week and will take place twice a week until all of the specified persons have been relocated. The inmates will be medically and mentally assessed after they arrive at their new allocated facility, and Hochul’s office stated the Department of Corrections will assist in transporting New York City residents who wish to see the inmates at their new sites.
The City Council of New York City has authorized a plan to close Rikers Island in 2019. The plan was designed for the at the time. This is a condensed version of the information.