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Digital Subscriptions > Newsweek International > 7th July 2017 > WELCOME TO HELL ISLAND


Attempts to fix the brutal and corrupt Rikers Island jail have failed. Should New York City throw away the key?


WHEN THE MAYOR of New York City chose a new correction commissioner in 2014, the city’s largest jail—Rikers Island—was notoriously inhumane and violent. Mayor Bill de Blasio selected as his new jails chief Joseph Ponte, a man with a progressive record of transforming jails in Maine and Tennessee. The New York Times Welcomed Ponte with the front-page headline, “De Blasio Setting Up a Test: Prison Reformer vs. Rikers Island.”

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CHOP AND CHANGE This week, we take a look at how scientists are altering our genetic code and engineering new forms of material that improve nature. Everything from flowers that can detect bombs to bacteria that secrete oil.