Mayor announces 4 sites planned to replace Rikers Island

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THE BRONX -

Mayor Bill de Blasio and City Council have reached an agreement to replace the Rikers Island jail complex with community-based facilities across the city.

According to the mayor's office, contractors are working to design jails that best meet the needs of inmates, officers and the community. De Blasio and City Council Speaker Corey Johnson have agreed to a single public review process for the four proposed sites.

One of the sites is located at 320 Concord Ave. in the Bronx.

Together, the sites would provide off-island space for 5,000 detainees and include three existing Department of Corrections facilities in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens. They would also be near courthouses in those boroughs.

The Bronx site, if approved, would be brand-new. Its goal is to create a more humane approach to detention.

City Councilman Rafael Salamanca says he supports closing Rikers but also wants the city to focus on closing Bronx jails like "The Boat."

"For residents, it's a symbol of embarrassment," he says. "For outsiders, it symbolizes that the South Bronx is dangerous, disparate and not worthy of investment. I can't stand for that."

The city says that four smaller facilities will bolster safety for DOC staff. The design phase could begin as soon as next summer, after community boards review the proposal.

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