We are closing Rikers Island.

New York is leading a historic decarceration plan to close Rikers Island and replace it with a smaller network of safer modern jails.

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What are the borough-based jails?

The borough-based jails plan is based on three main principles:

  • Our jail system can be much smaller with thousands fewer people in jail
  • Our jails can be safer with modern, well-designed facilities that promote dignity for those who are held, visit, and work there
  • The justice system will be fairer, changing the culture inside the jails, fostering community connections, and providing greater access to services


Jail capacity in New York City is being dramatically reduced. The new facilities will have a total capacity of 3,300, requiring 3,544 beds across facilities in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, and the Bronx. Currently, the City’s jail system has 11,300 beds.


The new facilities will be the model for direct supervision housing. Each housing unit will be equipped with ample programming, support services, and medical spaces. Every jail cell will have direct access to natural light and the residential style finishings and furniture will be comfortable and humane.



The jails will be located within the boroughs, increasing access to communities and courts, while allowing people to maintain connections to families and service providers.