New York City jail population is below 9,000 for the first time in 35 years, according to Mayor Bill de Blasio. He said the Big Apple is on track for monthly population below this figure.

“New York City has the lowest incarceration rate of all large U.S. cities and crime rates continue to fall, proving that a large city can have small jails and safe communities,” said Mayor de Blasio.

“We have been carrying out a multi-pronged effort over the course of my first term to shrink our jail population, and this week we have the results: a jail population lowers than it has been in 35 year,” he added.

Outgoing City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Vierito said “this massive jail population reduction is a milestone in our path to closing Rikers Island.”

She said she is confident this milestone will help advance our progress in closing Rikers even sooner than we anticipated.

“From the lowest crime rate our city has seen in years to this momentous drop in jail population to the Council’s Criminal Justice Reform Act,” said the Speaker.

“Our efforts to make our city more just and secure are delivering results,” Mark-Viverito added. She thanked Mayor de Blasio for his collaboration in establishing a fairer and safe criminal justice system.

Elizabeth Glazer, director of the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice said, “The historic reduction of the jail population is the result of many simultaneous efforts aimed at both reducing the number of low risk people who enter our jails and shortening the length of stay.”

“Reducing the jail population is a piece of the seismic changes taking place in New York City to ensure a smaller, safer and fairer justice system,” said Glazer. “We are grateful to our partners inside and outside government and to every New Yorker whose ideas and work continues to push our work forward,” she added.

Cynthia Brann, commissioner, Department of Correction said action taken by the de Blasio administration is a great step forward in the efforts to reduce population and close Rikers Island.

“We are well on our way towards moving into smaller, borough-based facilities that will be safe, easier for visitors to access, and safe the city millions in transportation and upkeep costs,” she added.

By J. Zamgba Browne
Chief Correspondent

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