Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Jail House Crock

Following up on our earlier post, Frank Lombardi in today’s Daily News reports on the new jail being proposed for the South Bronx:

City officials disclosed yesterday they are negotiating to acquire a vacant industrial site in the South Bronx to build a $375 million detention center.

The proposed location of the new Bronx jail - a former dump in the Oak Point section of heavily industrial Hunts Point - was revealed during a City Council hearing on a plan to upgrade jail facilities at Rikers Island and move thousands of inmates into jails in the Bronx and Brooklyn.
According to Lombardi, Bronx Councilman James Vacca is skeptical of the deal and, as the Times reports, so are a number of community groups in the area:

Elena Conte, a staff member for Sustainable South Bronx, said the community was keenly interested in the development of the site and urged the city to include them in the process. "Deals are being made," she said, "but there's very little transparency and no real opportunity for public participation, and that's a major concern."
Like we mentioned previously, the biggest sticking point for us is that the city swapped the Bronx House of Detention in the Bronx Terminal Market deal – saying there wasn’t a need for more jail space – and now is proposing a new South Bronx jail. As the Alliance’s Richard Lipsky says in the Daily News article:

"They left out at the time they gave away the Bronx House of Detention that they were also planning to build a $370 million prison in the South Bronx," said Richard Lipsky, a lobbyist who opposed the Related project.