Reconstruct or Deconstruct? A Debate on the Future of Rikers Island
Presented by Students for Criminal Justice Reform (SCJR) and Urban Planning Student Association (UPSA).
Reconstruct or Deconstruct? A Debate on the Future of Rikers Island will consider avenues to address our nation’s largest jail complex. Rikers Island has been called an “environmental disaster” and “a cesspool of violence and corruption.” In an era where America’s mass incarceration may only become more dire, we are forced to confront the state of this facility and these accusations of human rights abuse. The movement to close Rikers has been gaining steam and community support. Yet, city leaders recommend less drastic approaches, warning that closure would take years, nearly $7 billion, and a drastic reduction in the jail population. Come join us as we engage in an organized, dynamic dialogue around shutting down or reforming Rikers Island Jail. At the conclusion of each debate, attendees will be asked to judge which argument they found most compelling.