Monday, January 14, 2013
Rikers Island is falling apart
From the NY Post:
Rikers is rotting!
Two giant jailhouses sit empty and decaying, and the opening of a brand-new building last year was delayed after mechanical locks didn’t work and water leaked into a computer room.
In addition, four of the island’s biggest jails — prefabricated structures from the 1970s — suffer from problems including rotted floors, broken pipes and heating and cooling units that frequently conk out.
A men’s jail, the James A. Thomas Center, is choked with asbestos contamination and was shut down in 2000. Built in 1933, it needs hundreds of millions in renovations and is unlikely to be used any time soon, Rikers insiders said.
The department has been working to patch up the North Infirmary Command, a lockup for high-profile prisoners who need protective custody and those requiring medical care. It needs $21 million in repairs, including new showers, lighting, alarms and a sprinkler system. Sources said its old, crank-wheel system for opening cell doors is rusty. The department hopes to reopen the unit in July, two years after being shuttered.
The women’s Rose M. Singer Center has for years had overheating problems and roof leaks, so the department built a $146 million, six-story annex in 2011. But it didn’t open until last March after needing fixes to its own roof, which leaked into the computer room, and malfunctions to the system used to lock cell doors, sources said.