The proposal is said to benefit the surrounding community, but most residents are not fond of the idea.
Democratic politicians have continually proven that their priorities are utterly skewed. It only takes a quick browse through recent news reports to see that many on the left appear to value the lives and welfare of illegal aliens over the American people. Recently, one democratic mayor announced a plan which further illustrates his misaligned priorities which appear to favor prisoners over his local community.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Wednesday that in following through with his goal to eliminate the need for Rikers Island by the year 2027, he has proposed a plan to build replacement prisons on the New York mainland. While the majority of citizens have expressed their displeasure with the plan, wondering what the mayor could possibly be thinking, de Blasio is attempting to convince them otherwise by developing prisons that offer community resources in his goal to ‘integrate’ the prison population with that of NYC’s free citizens.
Under de Blasio’s plan, four new prisons are to be constructed in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Queens and will include community resources such as retail stores and even housing. The goal, he claims, is to provide “a more humane, safer environment that promotes better mental health and medical services” to inmates while also offering “retail and other amenities to serve the neighborhood.”
De Blasio and others in favor of the idea claim that there are other time and financial incentives involving the apparent hassle it is for inmates to make it to court hearings and for their families to visit them while incarcerated.
One former inmate complained about having to “get up at 4 a.m. on court days” and that it required his wife up to five hours “to visit him for a single hour.”
A local guard also noted that “It’s a full-time job to get one guy in front of a judge.” He continued of the plan that “this will take an hour instead of all day.”
While those who have expressed their concern for inmates’ and guards’ mere conveniences seem to consider that of utmost importance, many in the surrounding community are less than pleased with the proposed plan.
“That’s it, I’m moving,” claimed 25-year-old resident Kassandra Mena. “I don’t care what development deal they made. This neighborhood used to be bad 20 years ago. A jail is just going to turn it back to what it was,” she continued.
Others noted that they would not give their business to any associated retail store while further expressing that such would not provide any real benefit to the community considering that “the people around here are on food stamps,” said one local.
Another, who only wished to be referred to as ‘Liz B.,’ said that “I don’t think retail is the issue here. There’s plenty of retail space already. The real question is whether you’re okay with having a bigger jail right here.”
While the controversy is primarily surrounding the proposed Manhattan location which “could soar as high as 40 stories,” residents in Queens are said to be notably more open to the idea considering the proposed jail site in their borough “is more removed from residential areas” and will not include any amenities besides a parking lot with a 400-car capacity.
Also, the Queens location is said to replace a withstanding yet closed detention center anyway.
Conversely, the Manhattan location may replace the Marriage Bureau in the heart of downtown Manhattan and may even include “an upscale Asian restaurant.”
The Bronx prison is planned to be built on “the NYPD’s Bronx tow pound in Mott Haven, and the Brooklyn community can expect a jail at the “House of Detention in Boerum Hill.”
Unsurprisingly, as with most liberal proposals, the plan, if implemented, would be expensive, costing an estimated $440 million.
Also concerning, given that Rikers currently houses approximately 8,000 inmates, the new plan would require that figure to be reduced to 5,000 “through programs like supervised release.”
In other words, de Blasio’s plan could potentially endanger the local community by bringing the prison system closer to law-abiding citizens, releasing convicts who may not be yet rehabilitated, and providing a more comfortable prison experience which is unlikely to deter potential criminals.
A brochure outlining the proposal “promises cushy designs ‘that optimize access to program space, outdoor space, and natural light.’”
Arguably, the proposal does not appear to benefit NYC citizens, yet the lavish designs and resources seem to be a way to convince residents of the positive possibilities of co-mingling public amenities with that of incarceration facilities.
Safety-wise, there are potential risks in doing so, yet such a system, many would agree, sends the message that prisoners who were deemed deserving of lengthy sentences should somehow be incorporated into the local community before serving their time.
Residents have expressed these concerns, and while de Blasio’s spokeswoman, Natalie Grybauskas, claimed that the mayor is “engaging with the community to gather input,” it will remain to be seen whether de Blasio takes the recent disapproval into consideration or simply ignores it.