Rikers Island

BEHAR ANTHONY/SIPA

Cuomo Blasts De Blasio’s Planned High-Rise Jails To Replace Rikers

July 12, 2019 - 3:53 pm
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NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — The de Blasio administration plans to shut down Rikers Island and replace it with four smaller borough-based jails, but Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Friday said he wasn’t a proponent of the plan.

Mayor Bill de Blasio announced last year that Rikers Island would close its doors in 2027 and criminals in New York City would instead by houses in smaller jails to be constructed in four of the five boroughs.

Gov. Cuomo said when the mayor presented the idea to him, he wasn’t too taken with the plan.

“First of all, 10 years is an unacceptable period of time. That is two or three mayors down the road, city council speakers down the road,” Cuomo told WCBS 880’s Rich Lamb.

He also blasted the mayor’s borough-based jail concept, noting it was always going to be impossible to find support for it.

“How workable is that? Do you have a site? Do you have the approval? Siting is politically very difficult and the community opposition, everyone could've guessed. So, now it turns out surprise, surprise, surprise, years later, they can't find the sites,” Cuomo said.

The governor called it an “unworkable plan from the day it was announced” and said it's now up to the city's leaders to come up with a new plan.

He also promised the state would do what it can to help.