Public Weighs In During Brooklyn Hearing On Proposed Jail Plan

Originally published in Bklyner. on April 12, 2019.

FORT GREENE – Brooklyn Community Board 2 hosted the first ULURP public hearing for the Brooklyn Detention Center Thursday at Bishop Loughlin Memorial High School in Fort Greene.

Last month the NYC Planning Commission approved the ULURP (Uniform Land Use Review Procedure) application for the Mayor’s NYC Borough-Based Jail System plan, allowing the public review process to begin. As part of the ULURP process, community members have the opportunity to give feedback on the city’s plan which includes demolishing and expanding the Brooklyn Detention Center at 275 Atlantic Avenue in Boerum Hill.

Mayor de Blasio committed in 2017 to close Rikers Island by 2027 and replace the facility with four new or renovated “modern and humane” borough-based jails in Brooklyn, the Bronx, Manhattan, and Queens. The plan would reduce the current jail population from 7,800 to 5,000 and house individuals in smaller facilities closer to courthouses, healthcare facilities, and detainees’ families, according to the city.

Senator Montgomery thanked all of the advocates who traveled to Albany in support of the Discovery, Speedy Trial, and Bail Reform initiatives that were recently included in the New York State budget. The reforms are expected to reduce the number of incarcerated individuals—potentially decreasing the numbers below the Mayor’s 5,000 goal to 3,500. “Do what you promised to do. You said that you were going to improve the system by making smaller community facilities. Live up to your promise,” the Senator said Thursday evening.

“Based on the actions of the state legislature and current City initiatives to reduce the jail population, there is no reason we should build larger jails in our communities,” the Senator wrote in a letter to Mayor de Blasio dated April 4, 2019.

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