Brooklyn jail officially closed, setting stage for demolition
All detainees at the Brooklyn Detention Complex have been transferred out and no new detainees will be admitted, effectively shuttering the jail and paving the way for demolition and the construction of a larger facility, according to the Mayor’s Office.
The city plans to tear down the 11-story Boerum Hill jail and build a new facility nearly twice as large. The planned demolition is a key step in accomplishing the borough-based jail plan, which would establish a new jail facility in every borough but Staten Island as part of the city’s $8.7 billion initiative to shutter Rikers Island by 2026.
“Thanks to exceptional work by our staff, everyone has been safely moved out of the Brooklyn Detention Complex,” said Department of Correction Commissioner Cynthia Brann. “The new facility that will stand here will be built to reflect this city’s commitment to a smaller, safer, and fairer correctional system. Its design will reflect our values and will support modern and humane practices, improving the experience for people in custody and their families, and providing a safer work environment for the public servants who perform one of the city’s most challenging jobs.”
The Brooklyn Eagle reported the start of the official closure process last month. There were 390 detainees transferred out of the Brooklyn jail in less than two months in order to facilitate the official Jan. 2 closure, which was first reported by Brooklyn Paper. The city halted intake of new detainees in December.
Most detainees were transferred to the Manhattan Detention Complex, also known as The Tombs, as well as the Vernon C. Bain Center in the Bronx, officials confirmed. Approximately 20 detainees who were either over the age of 49 or required higher security measures were sent to Rikers Island, which contains special facilities for older detainees.
The Brooklyn Detention Complex’s 24/7 bail window will remain open and fewer than 10 staffers will stay on-site, according to Brooklyn Paper.
The Mayor’s Office said the city will solicit proposals for the construction of the new facility by mid-2021. No demolition plans have been filed, according to the Department of Buildings website.
After demolition, the city intends to build a new 295-foot structure that will house no more than 825 detainees. The current facility accommodates up to 759 people. The City Council approved the unprecedented land use measure covering all four new jails on Oct. 17.
The Brooklyn jail has recently struggled with overheating in the summer and frigid temperatures in the winter. It also has had the highest spike in violent use of force incidents by DOC staff against incarcerated people of any jail in the city since 2015.
Leave a Comment
Leave a Comment