Governor Kathy Hochul and Mayor Bill de Blasio agreed to move about 230 women and trans detainees from Rikers Island to two state detention facilities in Westchester County to free up space at the plagued lockup, according to a Wednesday announcement.
“The situation on Rikers Island is grave and complex, and thus requires bold action from all levels of government to deliver change,” Hochul said in an Oct. 13 statement. “These actions will further help ease staffing concerns, capacity constraints, and improve safety for several hundred detainees until such time that the city can identify and implement a permanent solution that will bring justice to the situation at Rikers.”
City corrections officials will begin transferring people out of Rikers starting Monday, Oct. 18 to the Bedford Hills Correctional Facility and the Taconic Correctional Facility, both located about 40 miles north of Midtown Manhattan.
“I’m proud to work with Governor Hochul on this initiative, which will provide important relief for the situation on Rikers,” said de Blasio in a statement.
Trans detainees set to be relocated out of Rikers includes trans women, trans men, and non-binary people, according to the governor’s office.
The city Department of Correction will shuttle 10-20 people upstate twice a week, however no detainees with any pending immigration matters will be moved.
The state facilities offer an array of educational and support services, and corrections officials will integrate the incoming incarcerated New Yorkers fully into the rural detention centers, according to the announcement.
DOC will offer daily transportation from the city to the facilities for family members and loved ones starting Friday, Oct. 22 with pick-ups from The Bronx, Manhattan, Queens, and Brooklyn twice a day.
Hochul previously transferred incarcerated people who have been sentenced to at least 90 days to state facilities, and a total of 143 men have been moved from Rikers to state custody to date, according to her office.
Another 239 people have been released from Rikers after the governor signed the so-called Less is More Act, freeing people who were being held on technical parole violations.
Additional reporting by Matt Tracy