New York

Latest Rikers brutality case fuels debate over jail's future

The latest brutality case against a Rikers Island guard has added fuel to a growing debate on whether New York City's notoriously violent jail complex has become so dysfunctional it should be shut down.

At least 35 staff members at Rikers have faced criminal charges in the past three years, many related to brutality.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo calls the situation at Rikers "intolerable" and says the jail should be replaced.

Some activists say shutting down Rikers is the only solution for a cycle of abuse that includes violence by guards and gang members, mistreatment of juveniles and inmates with mental illness and unjustly long detention for minor offenders.

Mayor Bill de Blasio is against a shutdown, saying improvements would cost less and make more sense.