The next mayor will inherit the crisis at Rikers Island. The jail is in chaos: 14 inmate deaths just this year, and many correction officers not showing up to work. There’s a plan to close the jail and replace it with smaller facilities across the city, but that is a long way off. Mr. Adams, you support closing Rikers, but what are you prepared to do more immediately on Day 1? You have one minute. Yes, I do support the plan to close Rikers. We have to look at placing of the new jails and make sure the incoming council persons agree with the locations. But right now, we need to respond to the needs of not only the inmates who are there, but also the correction officers. Sometimes we forget that these correction officers have been warning us for years. What we must immediately do: Stop the bottleneck. Those who are going to court, let’s get them to court. So they determine if they’re innocent or if they can serve their time in the state facilities where they’re supposed to do. And then we must immediately tell the officers who are not on duty for whatever reason, that is not inappropriate, we need you back to serve, but we’re going to provide a safe environment for you. And that is all they’re asking for. There is a warden’s house on Rikers Island. January 2nd, that’s where I’m staying. The warden’s house. To supervise what has to be the health and safety of the correctional officers who have the toughest job in the city. I’m going to be there to shake every man and woman’s hand, get an additional 2,000 correctional officers that we need, and get the emotionally disturbed inmates to state facilities for mental health and medication. They should not be on Rikers. And the gangs? The gangbangers know this, because I know the gangs. They’re all going to be divided up. Trinitarios will not be housed with Trinitarios, Bloods not with Bloods, Crips not with Crips. That’s what allows them to run Rikers Island. And I can say that as I’ve been on Rikers Island.
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