“Ever since he promised he would close Rikers Island, Mayor Bill de Blasio has ducked away from having real accountability or offering real transparency on this critical issue. The new One Year Progress Report from the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice is a shining example of this basic truth. A graphic set of statistics with no new information, the update attempts to praise the Mayor for milestones centered on reform and programming: launching a new system ensuring people in custody receive five hours of programming and the addition of a military veterans housing unit are not bold actions that will lead towards closing Rikers Island or ending the DOC’s reign of terror. Since the Smaller, Safer, Fairer roadmap, this Mayor offers no real plan, no strategies, no agenda, and no concrete next steps forward that include the voices of our communities. The sustained decarceration we’ve seen in New York City has happened in spite of this Mayor, not because of him. It is clear that our efforts to #CLOSErikers are following a similar path. So while Mayor de Blasio blames the state for his shortcomings and fails to hold his agencies accountable to the goal of closing Rikers now, we will continue making clear demands for his administration, amplifying the voices and the leadership of directly impacted communities at every step of the process.”
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