STATEMENT FROM BRANDON J. HOLMES, #CLOSERIKERS CAMPAIGN COORDINATOR

“Today’s announcement from the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice (MOCJ) is a reminder of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s lack of accountability to and engagement of impacted communities. In leading up to this announcement about borough-based facilities, MOCJ has also refused to increase transparency around his appointed Justice Implementation Task Force which includes advocates partnered with the #CLOSErikers campaign; this has undermined the integrity of that Task Force and of MOCJ’s process to shut down Rikers. Additionally, MOCJ and the Mayor continue to prioritize the design of and programming within new facilities, yet they are not doing all they can to decarcerate New York City.

Mayor de Blasio must end broken windows policing and take action on #CLOSErikers campaign demands to decriminalize fare evasion, low-level drug charges, sex work, and gravity knife possession, and end the NYPD’s quota-system for arrests and summonses. New Yorkers have led the effort to #CLOSErikers –we know it can close in less than ten years while New York continues efforts to decarcerate.

Black and brown people including vulnerable populations of women, immigrants, and LGBTQ people are central to reimagining publicly-funded facilities in New York City and redefining justice for all New Yorkers. Too often, advocates on the front lines of the #CLOSErikers campaign have been notified of important decisions only after they have been made. This is unacceptable. We look forward to a reversal of this trend. The people driving efforts to #CLOSErikers and #buildCOMMUNITIES will continue to organize and make our voices heard until we achieve the results our communities demand.”