“Today, Councilmembers Vanessa Gibson, Keith Powers, and Daniel Dromm reaffirmed the City Council’s commitment to creating effective pathways away from the criminal justice system for New Yorkers. We know that the criminal justice system harms all communities and disproportionately impacts Black people, people of color, immigrants, and people experiencing poverty. We also know that, in New York City, this system funnels people into Rikers and traps them there – both physically, as people are held there for years, and emotionally, as the scars and trauma inflicted onto people by Torture Island last a lifetime. Anything that can disrupt this cycle of mass criminalization, even just a little bit, could be a positive step.

“Still, more forceful solutions are necessary. As we reiterated during the two-year anniversary of the #CLOSErikers campaign, there are several steps the Council and Mayor Bill de Blasio could take to accelerate the decarceration that is already underway and expedite the shutting down of Rikers Island and its floating annex, The Barge. As this campaign continues to elevate and amplify the voices of directly impacted communities to demand bold action, we will keep fighting to address the root causes of why our friends and family get trapped in the justice system in the first place.

“We also note that the Council recognizes there are five boroughs in New York City. We hope that this Mayor will soon publicly acknowledge the need for solutions that help redefine justice in each of those five boroughs – including Staten Island.”
STATEMENT FROM BRANDON J. HOLMES, #CLOSERIKERS
CAMPAIGN COORDINATOR, ON CITY COUNCIL PRESS CONFERENCE
REGARDING ALTERNATIVES TO INCARCERATION

“Today, Councilmembers Vanessa Gibson, Keith Powers, and Daniel Dromm reaffirmed the City Council’s commitment to creating effective pathways away from the criminal justice system for New Yorkers. We know that the criminal justice system harms all communities and disproportionately impacts Black people, people of color, immigrants, and people experiencing poverty. We also know that, in New York City, this system funnels people into Rikers and traps them there – both physically, as people are held there for years, and emotionally, as the scars and trauma inflicted onto people by Torture Island last a lifetime. Anything that can disrupt this cycle of mass criminalization, even just a little bit, could be a positive step.

“Still, more forceful solutions are necessary. As we reiterated during the two-year anniversary of the #CLOSErikers campaign, there are several steps the Council and Mayor Bill de Blasio could take to accelerate the decarceration that is already underway and expedite the shutting down of Rikers Island and its floating annex, The Barge. As this campaign continues to elevate and amplify the voices of directly impacted communities to demand bold action, we will keep fighting to address the root causes of why our friends and family get trapped in the justice system in the first place.

“We also note that the Council recognizes there are five boroughs in New York City. We hope that this Mayor will soon publicly acknowledge the need for solutions that help redefine justice in each of those five boroughs – including Staten Island.”
STATEMENT FROM BRANDON J. HOLMES, #CLOSERIKERS
CAMPAIGN COORDINATOR, ON CITY COUNCIL PRESS CONFERENCE
REGARDING ALTERNATIVES TO INCARCERATION

“Today, Councilmembers Vanessa Gibson, Keith Powers, and Daniel Dromm reaffirmed the City Council’s commitment to creating effective pathways away from the criminal justice system for New Yorkers. We know that the criminal justice system harms all communities and disproportionately impacts Black people, people of color, immigrants, and people experiencing poverty. We also know that, in New York City, this system funnels people into Rikers and traps them there – both physically, as people are held there for years, and emotionally, as the scars and trauma inflicted onto people by Torture Island last a lifetime. Anything that can disrupt this cycle of mass criminalization, even just a little bit, could be a positive step.

“Still, more forceful solutions are necessary. As we reiterated during the two-year anniversary of the #CLOSErikers campaign, there are several steps the Council and Mayor Bill de Blasio could take to accelerate the decarceration that is already underway and expedite the shutting down of Rikers Island and its floating annex, The Barge. As this campaign continues to elevate and amplify the voices of directly impacted communities to demand bold action, we will keep fighting to address the root causes of why our friends and family get trapped in the justice system in the first place.

“We also note that the Council recognizes there are five boroughs in New York City. We hope that this Mayor will soon publicly acknowledge the need for solutions that help redefine justice in each of those five boroughs – including Staten Island.”