A lawsuit has landed a decisive blow to Bill de Blasio’s plan to replace Rikers Island with a smaller network of borough-based jails. “This comprehensive plan gets us one step closer to bringing people back to their communities, one step closer to ending the cycle of recidivism and one step closer to ending mass incarceration once and for all.”. But inmates are not allowed to use alcohol-based hand sanitizer, which the CDC recommends for preventing spread of the virus, as it is considered contraband by the Department of Correction because it is flammable. Inside New York's notorious Rikers Island jails, 'the epicenter of the epicenter' of the coronavirus pandemic . "We cannot flatten the curve if we ignore the crisis that exists in our jails," De Avila told CNN. “We remain committed to moving operations into new borough-based facilities that represent the very best in correctional design, and providing the safest, most humane environment possible for those who work and live in our jails. A security fence surrounds inmate housing on the Rikers Island correctional facility in New York in this 2011 photo. In doing so, New Yorkers were denied the early opportunity to weigh in on the location and its potential drawbacks, according to Kelley. Correctional Health Services screens people who are presented by the Department of Correction before being released to identify anyone who should self-isolate and connects those who need a place to self-isolate with hotels, according to the health services agency. Designers and builders are paired to streamline the construction process, from concept to shovels in the ground, while saving taxpayer money. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said Tuesday he was disappointed with those who have allegedly committed new crimes since being released from Rikers Island. Correction officers tell CNN that their jobs have become more unsafe because of the virus. About a week after the first jail system employee died on March 15 from Covid-19, a correctional officer on Rikers Island began feeling symptoms -- a cough, headache and eventually a fever and trouble breathing, he said, speaking with CNN on the condition of anonymity because he fears losing his job. But positive cases of coronavirus among correctional staff continue to increase. The updated plans presented to the City Planning Commission include dates through the end of 2021 for request for proposals from interested developers and architects to participate in the innovative design-build process. Advocates and a watchdog agency for the jail system contend that while correction officers wear masks, inmates don't nearly as often. Some have been rearrested for robberies, assault, violating orders of protection from domestic violence victims, narcotics charges and attempted rape, the official told CNN. Learn more about accessiblity from the Mayor's Office for People with Disabilities. Their refrain: How can you mitigate concerns and fairly review a project and its effect on neighborhoods when you only have a partial picture? By Sonia Moghe, CNN. "I'm disappointed in anyone who was shown mercy and turns around and commits an offense. Since all in-person visits to Rikers Island were suspended on March 18, phones are the only way inmates can ask for help from those the outside. "We took our do-rags and put them around our mouths," he said. This troubles Dorchen Leidholdt, the director of the legal center at Sanctuary for Families, an organization that supports survivors of domestic violence. Those recommended for release were on Rikers Island on a pretrial basis, meaning they had not been convicted of crimes, were serving city sentences of 1 year or less, or were there because of state parole holds, board member Dr. Bobby Cohen told CNN. ... Gothamist is a website about New York City news, arts and events, and food… “It was never about a NIMBY point of view,” he insists. The calls are free, but the phones -- shared by all inmates in his unit -- are a few feet apart. It is a moral imperative to close Rikers and significantly reduce the city's jail population. Inmates knew from watching the news that they needed face coverings to prevent themselves from getting sick, he said.