Council approves borough-based jail plan, clearing path to close Rikers (Updated)

October 17, 2019 Brooklyn Eagle Staff
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The New York City Council approved a sweeping land use measure on Thursday that will allow the city to build four new borough-based jails, overcoming what appears to be the most significant obstacle in the effort to close the Rikers Island detention complex.

The proposal passed the council with at least 35 votes. Bronx Councilmember Rafael Salamanca voted for building jails in Brooklyn, Queens and Manhattan, and against building one in the Bronx. It’s unclear at this time if his vote was counted in support — making it 36 — or against, as the proposed jails were bundled together into one application.

There were at least 13 votes against the plan.

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The $9 billion plan will see new detention facilities constructed in Boerum Hill, Chinatown, Kew Gardens and Mott Haven. Rikers Island is set to close by 2026, and a different land use proposal is being considered to ensure the island cannot be used as a jail in the future.

The Eagle reported live throughout the proceedings, sharing key moments and providing context critical to understanding the issue. See our reporting below.

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