The human rights crisis at Rikers Island has persisted for decades, and is emblematic of the racial and economic disparities in our criminal justice system. Nearly 90% of people held in New York City jails are Black or Latinx, and almost half have a mental health diagnosis. 75% of people are awaiting trial, many of whom are held because they can’t afford bail.
Thanks to grassroots campaigns like #CLOSErikers, and the Independent Commission’s blueprint for transforming our justice system, New York City has a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to permanently close the Rikers jails, invest in communities, and make our justice system fair for all. We cannot waste this critical moment. Watch the full video to learn how we can close Rikers and create a more just New York City.