Friday, August 30, 2019

City Council will hold hearing for four borough tower jails on the first day of school

Queens Eagle

Advocates and opponents of the city’s plan to close Rikers Island and build four new jails will pack City Hall for the council’s public hearing on the proposal Sept. 5. That’s also the first day of public school for hundreds of thousands of New York City students, and stakeholders say the hearing date could pose a big obstacle to community engagement.

The hearing will take place during a scheduled meeting of the Subcommittee on Landmarks, Public Siting and Maritime Uses. A City Council spokesperson told the Eagle that it is expected to be the only hearing on the topic. 

“Since the issue of closing Rikers and opening ‘borough-based’ jails is one of the most controversial issues of our time, I’m expecting a very crowded hearing, a very passionate hearing,” said Councilmember Adrienne Adams, the subcommittee’s chair.

“Most importantly, the people who are impacted one way or the other by the city’s jails need to be heard,” Adams continued. “I still believe the communities should have a voice in the decision.”
Some community members and activists say setting the hearing for the first day of school is the latest maneuver to reduce community input in a process that opponents have criticized for lacking transparency.

“Why would you push the calendar for that week with that schedule?” said Justin Pollock, a resident of Boerum Hill who lives near the site of the proposed 395-foot facility in Brooklyn. “It adds to the disrespect that this process has had for the general public.”

No New Jails organizer Kei Williams, a jail plan opponent, said the “monumental decision” before the council necessitates multiple public hearings on dates that are more convenient than the hectic first day of school. 

The council hearing will also take place just two days after the City Planning Commission casts its binding vote on the plan Sept. 3, the deadline established by the city’s Universal Land Use Review Procedure, or ULURP. If the CPC votes against the land-use application, it would not proceed to the council, but that is considered unlikely. 

The city’s plan calls for building a new 1,150-bed jail in every borough except Staten Island by 2026, and depends on the city’s ability to reduce the jail population to 4,000 detainees from a current total of roughly 6,500. 

The CPC can make modifications to the plan, such as permitting smaller facilities with fewer beds. That means the version that reaches the council could differ from the plan put forth by the city. But the final decisions rest with the council, meaning any changes made to the proposal by CPC could be reversed in the final stage of the land use process.

Williams said the tight time frame could make it difficult to evaluate the impact of any new changes.

“The one public hearing is scheduled … before the public will have had a chance to digest the Planning Commission's vote or comment on further changes to this ever-evolving plan that the City Council will not vote on until October,” Williams said.

Supporters of the city jail plan say community members will find a way to have their voices heard, even if the hearing date seems inconvenient. 

The only way for communities in the targeted areas for these jails can attend is to keep their kids home with a boycott of the first day of school, then show up to this hearing and disrupt this stupid plan.


Anonymous said...

I totally agree with the idea in the last paragraph. Keep the kids home from school that day and show up at the hearing with the kids, crowd the place. The first day of school is just going through administrative things anyways like seating, reading class contract, maybe some silly ice breakers; nothing in comparison to the mega prisons about to be forced on us.

Anonymous said...

If they are going to build tower jails, they can do it on Rikers. In fact, there is no reason that Rikers cant be refurbished and modernized. Call it an "alteration type 1"

But we know why. It's real estate:

1) REBNY wants that land for development
2) REBNY wants the surrounding areas of college point and the like for development too. So pop a jail up in the middle, and watch everyone else sell their 1 family homes. The Peoples Republic of China has equity waiting to tear your house down and build a barracks.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

I would put them underground, deep under ground, under water if possible.
Use them to explore new green ways of living.
Maybe they can find some dragons down there.

Anonymous said...

Community Space? Like NYC Parks and any other open spaces that are commandeered by drug dealers, thieves, violent gang bangers, scam artists and other assorted mentally ill low lives- can't wait to see which faction takes control of the community space.

I'd like to see a similar construction for the victims of the incarcerated criminals, with housing, social services and other ways that Crime Victims can reclaim their lives.
When someone calls Safe Horizons, the very badly administered Former Victim Services Agency, unless you are an illegal alien, it takes two weeks to get a call back and five weeks to see a counselor.

It's very clear that the DeBlasio Administration prefers the criminals over Crime Victims.

Anonymous said...

Big, Big mistake, closing Riker's. Neighborhoods will be inundated with convicted criminals coming and going on release and being remanded and re remanded. Friends and family follow. Riker's Island was the perfect habitat for these prisoners, and a hell of a lot cheaper than what DeBlasio has in mind. Go after your councilmembers, they are all in support of this lunacy. Throw them out of office, en masse.

Anonymous said...

Yet another way that Comrade Bill
And his reformed lesbian are making Republicans.

Anonymous said...

Yep they need to keep these people in rikers island. They can certainly reform the prisoners there WITHOUT them having to be right around the corner from where people live. But you know that no matter how many people sign petitions or go to the town hall meetings, the city will still do what it wants to do. An example of that is that new stupid school that they built on the kiels brother sight. The whole neighborhood signed petitions and voted against it and still it was pushed through. The city doesn't care what people think or how much they destroy a neighborhood, everything is about making a dollar ESPECIALLY when mayor loser presidential candidate dumbdumb is in office. Mayor dumbdumb is so delusional that he still won't drop of the presidential race.

Anonymous said...

Children’s Crusades don’t work.

ron s said...

How do you put "community space" in a prison building? Why not add daycare, a few pre-K's and a girl scout program?

Anonymous said...

Are we going to be Mega City 1 or Mega City 2?

When do the block wars start?

Anonymous said...

The way I see it, Queens residents deserve more homeless shelters and prisons in their neighborhoods. After all, they are the ones that have been electing nothing but Democrats for the past 50 years or so. The Dems are now so mathematically entrenched that no one can stop their social engineering. I don't know the actual numbers but I would imagine that voter enrollment in Kew Gardens is 85-90% Democrat. You get what you vote for. Don't forget to reelect Koslowitz after the jail is built. There wont be a primary so just go to the polls and bubble in Row A straight down like you always do.

-North Shore Episcopalian

Anonymous said...

The Rikers nonsense is just a land-grab wrapped in "progressive values." He wanted to do the same thing with the West Side horse stables but he lost control of the narrative when the animal rights commies wouldn't entertain any type of compromise. It always amazes me when people believe that there is anything altruistic behind these moves. It ain't about the horses and it ain't about the inmates. It's about the real estate. Got it? Good.

Harry Bingham IV