Rikers Island currently has some serious management issues, but its location is ideal. You really don’t want jailbirds housed in residential areas, so an island is perfect. Yet ultraliberal City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito is leading the charge to close it down, an idea the mayor already rejected as too expensive. The following statement came from Elizabeth Crowley: “While closing Rikers lsland is not something that can be done overnight, I believe it is something that at the very least deserves more focus and attention. We have a responsibility to fix the significant issues that are deeply ingrained in Rikers' operations. I believe we should look to the future to alternatives sites for a portion of the future inmate population. The island's 400 acres could then be used for a more productive and meaningful use, and not just a space to house inmates. I applaud Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito for taking bold steps in new criminal justice reforms that seek to shrink the overall jail population and ultimately close Rikers lsland.”

So reading between the lines, it appears this is a real estate deal. Moving the jail off the island frees it up for waterfront development, a “more productive and meaningful use.” We can’t wait to see in which communities Crowley proposes that the replacement jails be located for the benefit of her developer donors