The four jails that New York City wants to build to replace its Rikers Island facility will have cells with natural sunlight, space for programming and a children’s play area, officials said Wednesday.
During a public hearing on Wednesday, city officials presented design highlights of the four proposed jails to the City Planning Commission as a part of the next phase of the project’s approval process. The new jails, which would be built in Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn and the Bronx, are a part of a larger plan by Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration to close all of the jail facilities on Rikers Island by 2026. The city has allocated $8.7 billion for the project.
The City Planning Commission will vote on the proposal later this summer. If approved, the proposal would head to the New York City Council for a vote.
Cynthia Brann, commissioner of the Department of Correction, displayed a rendering of the facilities that showed a large dayroom surrounded by jail cells, all bathed in sunlight. She said inmates would also have direct access to outdoor recreation spaces.
THOUSANDS OF EX-PRISONERS TO REUNITE WITH THEIR FAMILIES THIS MONTH AS PART OF FIRST STEP ACT
“Our current facilities are designed for a different era of corrections,” Ms. Brann said. “Modern jails have all of these designs in them, and that is what we are going forward with.”
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The jails will provide visitors with a more “welcoming” experience, said Ms. Brann. The lobby would have information desks and kiosks, a place to pay bail and an area for children to play while waiting to visit inmates.
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