Mayor’s Borough-Based Jail Plan Defunded $473M and Now on Hold

Posted on: July 7th, 2020 at 5:00 am by

80 Centre Street, Photo: Karlin Chan

Grassroots groups in diametric opposition to the city’s borough-based jail plan this week declared victory at its delay. For now.

Last week, City Council and Mayor de Blasio approved the $88.1 billion budget for the 2021 fiscal year. Within the accompanying report, the city mentioned, “Planned commitments for new borough-based jails have been reduced by $472 million in the Executive Commitment Plan and moved into the Fiscal 2025-2029 plan. Continued delays of these projects into years beyond the current Administration decrease the chances of these jails being built.”

The delay is simply that, and doesn’t mean the new jails won’t happen. But it’s a substantial turn of events, nonetheless. As Christopher Marte, City Council contender and co-founder of the NUBC group said in a press statement, “While we have won this battle, the City can always move funds around to stay on the path. We need to keep a close eye on these developments and make sure our lawsuit continues.”

Photo: New York City

The so-called Chinatown jail is one of four proposed prisons across the boroughs that would accommodate thousands of inmates from Rikers Island once the controversial facility is officially closed, offering a “more humane” alternative. Plans for the downtown development include a thirty-story (295 feet) high rise jail on the site of the current Manhattan Detention Complex on White Street.

The budget also reallocates $1 billion from the NYPD, instead steering it to youth and community services.

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