For decades, the notorious Rikers Island Jail Complex has been marked by violence and corruption and impervious to substantive reform. The #CLOSErikers campaign, led by JustLeadershipUSA, in partnership with other organizations, was formed in 2016 to break the political gridlock and achieve real solutions that are guided by directly impacted communities. By closing Rikers, New York City can focus on healing and rebuilding the communities where Rikers has brought suffering. The campaign to #CLOSErikers is calling for New Yorkers to boldly reimagine the city’s failed criminal justice system and become a national leader in ending mass incarceration. Join us.


A breakdown of the history of violence and corruption at Rikers Island.


Detaining a person at Rikers Island for a year costs the City (i.e., taxpayers) $208,500 per year.

A fraction of those resources could turn a person’s life around and help build communities in low-income parts of the city.
Source: NYC Independent Budget Office, 2013.

89% of Rikers Island detainees are Black or Latino.

By comparison, 53% of New York City residents are Black or Latino.
Source: Community States for Rikers Island

79% of those detained are awaiting trial.

These are people stuck in our jails because they are too poor to make bail. The remaining detainees are serving sentences of less than a year.


News. Press. Video. Photos. Stay connected to what's going on with the closure of Rikers.





#CLOSErikers Campaign Stages Protest at Rikers Island Calling it a Confederate Monument

Members and supporters of the #CLOSErikers campaign gathered at the Rikers Island sign this morning calling the jail complex a confederate monument and demanding that New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio move up his timeline for shutting down the penal colony. The action comes on the heels of the Mayor’s announcement that the City will conduct a 90-day review of all symbols of hate on City property in the wake of the white supremacist violence in Charlottesville, VA earlier this month.

  Read more

Version 2




#CLOSErikers Campaign Confronts Mayor at Park Slope YMCA to Demand a Stronger Plan and Shorter Timeline for Shuttering the Jail Complex

PRESS RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE June 30, 2017 CONTACT: Emily NaPier, Dir. of Public Affairs 315.243.5135 | emily@justleadershipusa.org   #CLOSErikers Campaign Confronts Mayor at Park Slope YMCA to Demand a Stronger Plan and Shorter Timeline for Shuttering the Jail Complex One week after the release of the “Roadmap to Closing Rikers Island,” dozens gather to show […]

  Read more

Reimagining Criminal Justice

Too many people are incarcerated in NYC. In order to #CLOSErikers, we must significantly reduce the number of people being detained there in the first place. Significant efforts to achieve this are already underway. Under pressure from many of the same groups that lead the #CLOSErikers campaign, the de Blasio administration has already committed to moving adolescents off of the Island. Advocates have pushed the City to explore new and expanded diversion systems, including connecting individuals with mental health and substance use issues to appropriate services, rather than incarceration.


Take Action

Join Our Campaign

Do you want to get involved with the #CLOSErikers Campaign?

Sign Up to Become A Member Today!

Join Our Campaign

Do you represent an organization that wants to #CLOSErikers?

View our sign-on letter and join the 90+ organizations & groups committed to closing the notorious jail complex.

View Our Letter and Sign On Today!

For Press: valrie@justleadershipusa.org

Tweet @BilldeBlasio