Cuomo backs replacing Rikers Island with modern NYC jail

(AP) - Gov. Andrew Cuomo says Rikers Island is dangerous and dated and should be replaced with a modern and safer jail for New York City.



The governor says in an interview Tuesday that the jail built in the 1930s has been a "festering" problem, dangerous for guards and inmates.



City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito has announced a commission to study the fate of the 400-acre island in the East River. It houses most of the city's 10,000 inmates.



Cuomo tells NY1 the first step is to admit the problem, the second to determine the alternative: one jail or many smaller facilities.



The push for changes at Rikers began in 2014 after reports by The Associated Press on dozens of deaths highlighted poor supervision, questionable medical care and failure to prevent suicides.


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