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Demonstrators call for the closing of the Rikers Island prison as they protest outside the City Hall in New York, on Sept. 22. Photo: Kena Betancur/AFP via Getty Images

More than 200 women and transgender inmates will be transferred from New York City's Rikers Island jail complex and to state facilities, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) announced Wednesday.

Why it matters: Rikers for years has been plagued by neglect and dysfunction, which has worsened during the coronavirus pandemic. Wednesday's announcement comes amid growing calls by activists and human rights groups to close the facility.

  • Hochul last month ordered the release of 191 inmates from Rikers Island.

The big picture: Under Wednesday's agreement, approximately 230 inmates will be transferred to state-run facilities in Westchester County, the Bedford Hills Correctional Facility and the Taconic Correctional Facility.

  • The transfers will begin the week of Oct. 18, and occur twice a week, with 10-20 inmates transferred each time.

Of note: The transfer agreement is temporary, and state leaders are still examining longer-term solutions, officials said.

What they're saying: "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 a statement, adding that the move is intended to aid the most vulnerable populations at the jail.

  • "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," Hochul added.
  • "I'm proud to work with Governor Hochul on this initiative, which will provide important relief for the situation on Rikers," De Blasio said a statement, noting that reform efforts of Rikers have made "encouraging progress."   

Go deeper: Worsening crisis at Rikers Island jail spurs calls for action

Go deeper

Judge asks DOJ to probe D.C. jail's treatment of Capitol riot detainee

D.C. Department of Corrections. Photo: Caroline Brehman/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

A federal judge on Wednesday held officials at the Washington, D.C., Department of Corrections in contempt of court after ruling they violated the civil rights of a Jan. 6 detainee by impeding his access to medical care.

The big picture: The department has been the subject of heavy criticism from inmates, lawyers and judges over its living conditions, the Washington Post reports. During the pandemic, for around 400 days, officials imposed a 23-hour-a-day lockdown policy to enforce social distancing. The rule was eased this summer.

UNC race conscious admissions process upheld by judge

Students walk through the campus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill on Aug. 18, 2020 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Photo: Melissa Sue Gerrits/Getty Images

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill can continue its race conscious admissions process, a federal judge ruled on Monday.

Why it matters: The case could end up in the Supreme Court after the conservative nonprofit Students for Fair Admissions (SFFA) vowed to appeal the judge's ruling that UNC didn't discriminate against against white and Asian American applicants in its policy that it said was designed to increase diversity.

SEC debunks conspiracy theories about meme stock mania

Photo: Alessia Pierdomenico/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The SEC issued its long-awaited report on the meme stock mania, which downplayed the narrative that a "short squeeze" was the primary driver behind GameStop's historic stock moves — and shot down conspiracy theories about the event.

Why it matters: The postmortem was highly anticipated, largely because of what it could hint about what the regulator thinks should be done in wake of the saga. But the report stopped short of specific policy recommendations.

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