A city panel studying the future of Rikers Island will recommend closing it.
A blue-ribbon commission studying the future of Rikers Island will recommend closing the troubled jail and replacing it with several smaller facilities across the city, sources told the Daily News.
The 27-member panel, led by former New York State Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman, has been studying the issue for more than a year, even as more tales of horror emerged from within the 10-jail facility’s halls and cells.
But according to one member of the panel, the commission has reached its conclusion, and is prepared to share its recommendation with Mayor de Blasio and City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, who appointed Lippman.
An official said the recommendations will be shared with City Hall on Sunday.
The mayor, Lippman and Mark-Viverito huddled together Thursday night on the mayor’s side of City Hall, emerging separately around 7:20 p.m.
Mark-Viverito, who emerged first, made a beeline for her own wing of the building and said nothing when asked if she could share what the commission would recommend or what the three had discussed.
Mayor de Blasio has been opposed to closing Rikers.
(Susan Watts/New York Daily News)
Lippman emerged a few minutes later.
"I can just tell you that we have our usual process of keeping people informed of what’s going on and taking a lot of feedback," Lippman said as he walked out the front door of City Hall.
City Correction Commissioner Joseph Ponte was at City Hall at least twice this week. The News spotted him walking in on Tuesday and on Wednesday, a few hours before de Blasio held a press conference announcing re-entry services for Rikers inmates.
Spokespeople for de Blasio and Mark-Viverito declined to comment.
But the commission member said the recommendations include supervised release of some of the detainees, new smaller jails across the five boroughs and a bail system overhaul.
The source said the transition would take 10 years to complete.
The shutdown-Rikers movement was trigged in part by the suicide of Kalief Browder, a teenager from the Bronx, who was wrongfully jailed for three years.
Browder, 22, was arrested shortly before his 17th birthday on May 15, 2010. He was charged with stealing a backpack but insisted he was innocent.
Kalief Browder’s suicide helped ignite a movement to close Rikers. The Bronx teen was wrongfully jailed for three years and killed himself after his release.
The case was never brought to trial and Browder was finally released from jail after three years — two of those years were in solitary confinement.
Browder used an air conditioning cord and bed sheets to hang himself in June 2015.
Rapper Jay Z, who briefly met Browder after he read about his plight in a New Yorker piece, produced a six-part documentary about the young man’s life.
The jail houses about 10,000 detainees, about 80% of whom are awaiting trial.
Thursday’s City Hall powwow came on the same day as a Board of Correction meeting where the latest violence in city jails was discussed.
Correction department brass asked the board to keep several jails on continued lockdown due to recent slashings.
Overall, slashings in city jails increased from 131 in 2015 to 155 in 2016, records show.
The spike in those attacks comes as de Blasio has earmarked over $200 million to pay for everything from added correction officers to extra classes for inmates.
The commission report does not include any specific locations for where the new jails should be located, according to a source familiar with the review.
De Blasio has called the idea a noble cause but has repeatedly declined to support it.
In 2015, the city quietly looked at the possibility, and even identified multiple locations for the more than $10 billion plan.
Mark-Viverito has called for the jail to be shut down, an idea supported by Gov. Cuomo.
De Blasio has hired consultants to make recommendations on how to transform the jail.
These are the members of the commission:
* Judge Jonathan Lippman (chair) — former Chief Judge of the State of New York and Chief Judge of the New York Court of Appeals, and Of Counsel at Latham & Watkins LLP.
* Richard M. Aborn — President of the Citizen’s Crime Commission of New York City.
* Juan Cartagena — President and General Counsel of LatinoJustice PRLDEF.
* Hon. Matthew J. D’Emic — Presiding Judge of the Brooklyn Mental Health Court.
* Mylan L. Denerstein — Partner at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP.
* Robert B. Fiske, Jr. — Senior Counsel at Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP and former United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York.
* MaryAnne Gilmartin — President and Chief Executive Officer of Forest City Ratner Companies.
* Colvin W. Grannum — President and Chief Executive Officer of the Bedford-Stuyvesant Restoration Corp.
* Dr. Michael P. Jacobson — Executive Director of the CUNY Institute for State & Local Governance and Chairman of the Board of the New York City Criminal Justice Agency.
* Seymour W. James, Jr. — Attorney-in-Chief of The Legal Aid Society of New York.
* Hon. Judy Harris Kluger — Executive Director of Sanctuary For Families.
* Peter Madonia — Chief Operating Officer of the Rockefeller Foundation.
* Glenn E. Martin — President of JustLeadershipUSA.
* Julio Medina — Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer of Exodus Transitional Community, Inc.
* Ana L. Oliveira — President and Chief Executive Officer of The New York Women’s Foundation.
* Rocco A. Pozzi — Probation Commissioner, Westchester County Department of Probation and former Commissioner of the Westchester County Department of Correction.
* Laurie Robinson — Clarence J. Robinson Professor of Criminology, Law and Society at George Mason University and former Assistant Attorney General in the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs.
* Stanley Richards — Board Member of the New York City Board of Correction and Senior Vice President at The Fortune Society, Inc.
* Hon. Jeanette Ruiz — Administrate Judge of the New York Family Court.
* Peter G. Samuels — Partner at Proskauer Rose LLP.
* Dr. Alethea Simon — President and Executive Director of Greenhope Services for Women, Inc.
* Herb Sturz — Board Chair of the Center for New York City Neighborhoods.
* Jeremy Travis — President of John Jay College of Criminal Justice and the former Director of the National Institute of Justice.
* Nicholas Turner — President and Director of the Vera Institute for Justice.
* Darren Walker — President of the Ford Foundation.
* Kathryn Wylde — President and Chief Executive Officer of the Partnership for New York City.
* Kenneth H. Zimmerman — Director of U.S. Programs of the Open Society Foundations.