Despite Protests, New Bronx Jail a Step Closer to Reality

By Eric Klein
eklein@bronxjusticenews.com

New York City’s Planning Commission on Tuesday voted in favor of a plan that would replace the sprawling detention facilities on Rikers Island with new jails in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, and Manhattan.

The plan, backed by the de Blasio administration, now goes to the City Council for a vote. Nearly $9 billion has been budgeted to carry out the construction and opening of the four jails, which would house significantly fewer prisoners than Rikers Island.

The twelve Rikers facilities have long been plagued by violence, instances of corruption, and what critics say are unlivable conditions.

But the plan to replace them with community jails has come under fire, too, with some Bronx officials lobbying for a new location closer to Bronx Supreme Court—and many activists calling on the city to close Rikers without building any replacement jails.

Protestors demonstrated against the plan at Tuesday’s meeting, but commission members voted in favor, 9-3.

About Eric Klein 5 Articles
Eric Klein is an editor for Bronx Justice News. Born and bred in the Bronx, he lives on the Grand Concourse, where at least one member of his family has resided every year since the 1930s. Eric has two sons and, like them, is a die-hard New York Yankees fan.