The Mayor's office has revealed a $300 million plan to move 16 and 17-year-olds out of notoriously violent and emotionally destructive quarters on Rikers Island, into an airier more accessible facility in the Mott Haven section of the Bronx. The news comes shy of two years after U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara's office described the conditions for adolescents on the complex as "more inspired by Lord of the Flies than any legitimate philosophy of humane detention."

"Today we're proud to announce we're taking a clear step toward moving these kids off of Rikers," Mayor de Blasio stated this week. "When you're a teenager, it's not too late to get on the right path, and we need to provide the right environment to help get them there."

There are currently close to 200 16 and 17-year-olds on Rikers, compared to about 330 in 2013.

Under the new plan, the city would renovate the Horizon Juvenile Center in Mott Haven, which currently houses 14 and 15-year-olds, into a new jail for the older teens. Advocates with the #CLOSErikers campaign note that Horizon has larger rooms than Rikers, with more light. It's also close to the 2 train—a thirty minute commute from Midtown—for easier family visits. It would accommodate therapy and classrooms.

To make room for the older teens, the NY Times reports that current Horizon residents would move to the Crossroads Juvenile Center in Bushwick, which would also undergo renovations. This sort of shuffling can only proceed after a lengthy land use process—one the city predicts could take at least four years.

The Department of Correction deferred comment on the proposal to the mayor's office.

"I view this move... as a necessary first step in reevaluating the proper treatment of youth involved in the criminal justice system," stated Glenn E. Martin, president of JustLeadershipUSA, who was incarcerated on Rikers at age 16. "Ultimately, however, Mayor de Blasio must spend the political capital necessary to ensure that Rikers is closed and replaced with a smaller, more humane criminal justice system that aligns with our values as New Yorkers."

DNAInfo has reported on the city's quiet efforts to determine possible alternative jail sites, though the land-use process for multiple new jails across the city would be longer and more complex than the proposal to move teens proposed this week.

And for some advocates, even four years is far too long to wait. It would be more efficient, they argue, for the state to stop incarcerating adolescents altogether.

As it now stands, New York and North Carolina are the only states where 16 and 17-year-olds are automatically charged as adults. Any teenager arrested within NYC who cannot afford bail is sent to Rikers Island, where many stay for months at a time awaiting trial. Despite existing speedy trial laws, a recent lawsuit alleges at least 2,378 misdemeanor cases in the Bronx have been pending for over a year.

"The way to do this the fastest and most efficient way, and appropriate way, is for New York State to raise the age [of incarceration]," New York Civil Liberties Union head Donna Lieberman told us on Friday. "That way juveniles who are now pushed into the system and thrown onto Rikers Island could be placed into juvenile facilities with the Administration for Children's Services."

Kalief Browder of the Bronx, who spent three of his late teen years imprisoned on Rikers awaiting trial for a petty robbery charge that was ultimately dismissed, committed suicide last summer.

"I think if anything this proposal [to move adolescents] will boost efforts to raise the age," Lieberman added. "We as New Yorkers should be ashamed of our legislature's dysfunction on this."