The community input process was extremely frustrating. City representatives sought our approval when we clearly did not agree with the approach.
We appreciate the inclusion of off-street parking, to solve a long standing parking abuse problem that plagued Atlantic Avenue merchants, and the offer of a community space on the first floor. However we are concerned that the scope, scale and bulk of the proposed new Brooklyn jail will be grossly out-of-context. We fear the City will want to use every inch of the allowable height and bulk. Notice the current building is a tower setback on a base.
We are currently attempting to get our first design meeting with the City administration. Staff changes and some confusion has delayed this meeting. Local stakeholders, a group of nearby residents representing several buildings, want to know about the take down of the building, the construction process and want to comment on some of the design.
As I update this page, the City is battling the Covid-19 virus. Capital spending will be suspended. This gives us an opportunity to reimagine this building to ensure the safety and health of the Corrections staff and detainees.
Once again we ask the City to consider a smaller facility here and a second facility deeper in the borough.
In any circumstance, the City will also need to keep its pledged $391 million financing for programs targeted to reducing the detainee population.
We recommend some reading.
Start with "Smaller, Safer, Fairer," the road map to closing Rikers Island.
The final Neighborhood Advisory Committe report is here. The final plan from the Mayor's Office of Criminal Justice (MOCJ) was released in December 2019. Also read Deputy Mayor Dean Fuleihan's "Points of Agrement" document that outlines the City's reform commitments to each borough with detail about funding and programs.
The Marshall project, a non-profit publication asks if the City can build its way out of mass incarceration.
Brooklyn District Attorney is leading our local criminal justice reforms, read Justice 2020.
The path to true reform is complicated but the outcome is vitally important.