Community Lawsuit Halts City’s Chinatown Jail Plans

Posted on: September 22nd, 2020 at 5:05 am by

The Tombs

The Borough-based jail plan hit another major snag this week, with a grassroots lawsuit blocking the proposed Chinatown prison.

Neighbors United Below Canal, a community organization, announced yesterday that its lawsuit won an injunction against development of the thirty-story high-rise at 125 White Street.

Judge John Kelley ruled in favor of the community, noting that when the City changed development sites from the initial plans for at 80 Centre Street to 125 White Street, it neglected to revise technical aspects, such as the scoping and Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). The verdict stated that the City violated procedure to such an extent, that it “undermined the integrity and fairness of the process.”

“In the age of COVID, with incarcerated people suffering much higher rates of COVID, and the budgets of the schools, sanitation, and City workers being slashed, it is immoral and now illegal for the City to move forward on a plan to expand incarceration,” NUBC co-founder and City Council candidate, Christopher Marte, said in a statement.

This injunction adds more salt on Mayor de Blasio’s plan. Indeed, the city had already demoted the citywide plan last spring, when the budget reduced the funding by $472 million and moved into the Fiscal 2025-2029 plan.

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