Bronx, NY – State Senator Gustavo Rivera (D-Bronx) is pleased that the Public Protection and General Government budget bill, which was passed by the Senate Sunday afternoon, included the transfer of the Fulton Correctional Facility and extended various criminal justice and public safety programs.
"I am particularly pleased to report that the Fulton Correctional Facility in the Bronx will be transferred to the Thomas Mott Osborne Memorial Fund to be converted into a comprehensive reentry center and that they will be eligible to receive $6 million in capital economic transformation funding," said Senator Rivera. "The restructuring of the Fulton facility will provide thousands of Bronxites transitioning back into society with the necessary resources and skills to be productive members of the community."
“Turning a prison into a reentry center for formerly incarcerated men and women is truly turning swords into ploughshares. Without the powerful leadership of Senator Rivera and the unparalleled support of the borough president and local elected officials, this vision would never have come this far,” said Elizabeth Gaynes, Executive Director of the Osborne Association. “ Together with the Governor's courage in closing prisons and Assembly support from day one, we are sending a strong message that families affected by incarceration are assets to our community and our returning citizens are welcome home.”
“The restructuring of the Fulton Correctional Facility is great news for the Bronx. Transforming this structure into a re-entry facility will provide Bronxites who are transitioning back into society from prison with the necessary tools and resources to succeed and become proactive members of our community, while at the same time helping strengthen our neighborhoods with hardworking members of society. I would like to thank Governor Cuomo, State Senators Gustavo Rivera and Ruth Hassel-Thompson, Assemblyman Eric Stevenson, my Bronx Reentry Task Force, the Osbourne Fund and all those involved in helping make this come to fruition,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.
Once restructuring is completed, Fulton will provide emergency and interim housing, workforce development services, and business incubation designed to create social enterprises that hire formerly incarcerated individuals and community residents. Additionally, the building will house a culinary arts training program, a catering business and an apiary for beekeeping.
“We are delighted to hear the wonderful news about the Fulton Correctional Facility. These funds will provide much needed coordination, collaboration and wrap around services for our returning citizens under community supervision,” said Dr. Pamela Valera, Bronx County Reentry Task Force/Bronx Reentry Working Group and Assistant Professor, Columbia University.”We are grateful for the institutional support, dedication and commitment led by our fierce leader Senator Gustavo Rivera. We are one Bronx dedicated to each other, our community and our returning citizens.”
While the crime rate and the prison populations have decreased in New York State and City, there are still a great number of people under correctional supervision that can benefit from a reentry facility such as the one planned at Fulton. This is especially the case in the Bronx, where approximately 15,000 Bronxites are on parole or on probation.
"I am very proud to have worked with Governor Cuomo, Senator Ruth Hassell-Thompson, Assemblymember Eric Stevenson, Bronx Borough President Diaz and the Osborne Association in making Fulton the first prison in the country to be re-purposed into a reentry center," said Senator Rivera. "Fulton will not only aid in reducing our rates of recidivism in the Bronx, but it will also encourage job creation in our community."
Senator Rivera speaks on the transfer of the Fulton Correctional Facility: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jbiEF3qBXXc&feature=youtu.be
Senator Rivera has voted aye on the four budget bills that have come to a vote in the Senate.