March 11 (Monday at 6pm in Founder’s Hall) Screening of newly-released documentary: Justice By Design: On the Conversation to Close Rikers Island / with Panel and Discussion
Rikers has become synonymous with the worst aspects of New York City’s criminal justice system. The prison is known for its entrenched culture of violence and poor conditions; last year, Mayor De Blasio announced the city would close Rikers by 2027. This film examines structural policies governing incarceration and ways the city can “reimagine a justice system that centers on healthy individuals, families, and communities” and begin to change the culture of the city’s jail system. Rikers is made up of eight facilities and is used primarily to incarcerate people being held before trial. It also houses a smaller population of inmates who have been sentenced to less than a year. This film explores issues that architects and planners must consider before simply closing the facility, and the need to reexamine ideas of incarcerations and structural problems in communities beyond simply incarceration.