DOWNTOWN BROOKLYN – Mayor de Blasio and New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson announced today an agreement to replace Rikers Island with smaller borough-based jail facilities in Manhattan, the Bronx, Queens, and Brooklyn.
The Brooklyn Detention Center located at 275 Atlantic Avenue is among three existing Department of Corrections facilities slated for expansion/renovation (the two others are in Manhattan and Queens) while a new facility is planned for the Bronx. Together, the four proposed sites will house 5,000 inmates.
The sites will need to go through a Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP) process which includes hearings and recommendations by local community boards, the borough presidents, the City Council, and the City Planning Commission. Today’s agreement included consolidating the proposal into a single ULURP process for the four sites, expediting the project.
There are an average of 9,000 inmates in Rikers a day, according to a release from the Mayor’s office. A master plan is currently being developed that will include recommendations for how to maximize capacity at each of the borough-based sites as well as provide designs for facilities “that best meet the needs of inmates, staff and communities,” according to the release, however Eric Adams tweeted this morning that he hasn’t seen any details yet.
I have yet to see the details for expanding the #Brooklyn Detention Complex in #DowntownBrooklyn as part of the plan to #closeRikers. I look forward to reviewing these details as part of our office's role in the land use process.
— Eric Adams (@BPEricAdams) February 14, 2018
A public engagement process is also said to be included in the project. Local communities and stakeholders will be able to provide feedback that will be incorporated into the planning process, the Mayor’s office promises.
“This agreement marks a huge step forward on our path to closing Rikers Island,” the Mayor said. “In partnership with the City Council, we can now move ahead with creating a borough-based jail system that’s smaller, safer and fairer. I want to thank these representatives, who share our vision of a more rehabilitative and humane criminal justice system that brings staff and detainees closer to their communities.”
Mayor de Blasio and the City Council first announced plans to shut down the jail in March 2017. Click here to see NYC’s “Roadmap” to reducing the jail population and to closing Rikers Island.