Boerum Hill

City in process of shutting down Brooklyn Detention Complex

December 20, 2019 Noah Goldberg
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Brooklyn’s city jail is in the process of being shut down — with detainees transferred to other facilities across the city, the city’s Department of Correction confirmed to the Brooklyn Eagle.

The city has planned to close the violence-plagued jail — built in the 1950s — in January to begin construction on a new, much larger facility as part of the mayor’s borough-based jail plan approved by the City Council in October.

“In order to meet our timeline of closing [the Brooklyn Detention Complex] by the end of January 2020 we have been transferring detainees out of the facility, reassigning staff and preparing the site for new construction. We are on track to meet this deadline,” a DOC spokesperson told the Eagle.

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DOC confirmed to the Eagle last month that they would stop admitting new detainees to the 11-story detention center in Boerum Hill with the shutdown imminent.

At that time, there were around 400 detainees held at the lockup.

DOC would not provide the Eagle with the current number of detainees at the jail. They also would not respond to requests for updated numbers of detainees and corrections officers that have been transferred out of the Brooklyn Detention Complex.

The Brooklyn jail has recently struggled with overheating in the summer and frigid temperatures in the winter.

Brooklyn’s largest public defender organization said that instead of transferring detainees to other city jails, the city should look to release as many as possible pre-trial, especially in light of bail reform going into effect on Jan. 1.

“These transfers only bring greater urgency to expanding pre-trial release,” said Lisa Schreibersdorf, executive director of the Brooklyn Defender Services in a statement to the Brooklyn Eagle.

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