Seeking to stem violence, NYC will house hard-to-manage inmates ages 18 to 21 in a single jail

New York City jail officials plan to revamp the way more than 1,000 notoriously hard-to-manage young adult inmates ages 18 to 21 are housed at the Rikers Island complex.

Jails Commissioner Joseph Ponte (pahnt) tells The Associated Press that the 1,200 inmates will be moved to a single Rikers facility by the end of the year.

Ponte says the strategy is to reduce the amount of time they spend with nothing to do, requiring them to take classes and receive therapy. They'll also be exempt from being placed in solitary confinement for breaking jailhouse rules.

Officials say about 400 of them are gang members who account for 34 percent of systemwide assaults involving a weapon.

A settlement with federal prosecutors over pervasive violence at Rikers requires many reforms.