Faith leaders continue push to close Rikers Island

Posted: Updated:

Faith leaders in the Bronx are still pushing to close Rikers Island, favoring borough-based jails as Mayor Bill de Blasio proposed.

Leaders gathered in Mott Haven Reformed Church Thursday night to discuss Rikers and how they believe the new facilities should be operated.

Mayor Bill de Blasio proposed four borough-based jails, but many who are for closing Rikers Island do not want the new jails near their homes or in their communities.

"It's important for us to have a community-based jail so that our people who are in Rikers can come close to home, can be able to engage with family, can take advantage of community resources," said Pastor Dr. Reverend Patricia Sealey.

The group wants the mayor to add the following modifications to his proposed plan:

- Invest in mental health resources outside of the justice system

- Up the investments in alternative to incarceration programs like Bronx Connect

- Change the culture of the Department of Corrections

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