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The Wall Street Journal: Report expected to urge closing Rikers Island jail

An independent panel led by New York state former chief judge Jonathan Lippman will recommend closing the jail at Rikers Island, according to a person familiar with the matter.

The report, which is expected to be released Sunday, calls on the city to consider replacing the Rikers Island complex with smaller jails around the city. The recommendation isn’t binding.

The development is certain to be cheered by criminal justice advocates and others who have argued for decades that the city jail, with some 10,000 inmates, is plagued by violence and is beyond repair.

The recommendation is likely to cause political strife for New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.

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