In early 2016, we helped launch #CloseRikers in partnership with JustLeadershipUSA, an advocacy organization of formerly incarcerated people working to end mass incarceration.
Together we developed a feasible policy plan for the city to reduce the jail population from 8,000 to about 4,000, and to then move the remaining 4,000 to centers across the city. We are now building the political will to make it happen.
Katal is helping train the organizers at JustLeadershipUSA, who is in turn engaging residents and community groups in each of the five boroughs. We have more than 70 organizations signed on to our coalition so far. The ground-up pressure we built spurred Mayor de Blasio to implement one of the first points in our plan: to remove all 16 and 17 year-old children from Rikers – and he committed $170 million to the process. We also convinced the New York City Council to create a commission to examine Rikers and other aspects of the criminal justice system. They appointed the head of JustLeadershipUSA to serve on it.
Learn about our work by visiting #CLOSErikers.