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Advocates rally to sink NYC’s floating jail

Posted at 6:39 PM, May 03, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-03 18:39:23-04

It’s the floating jail on the East River that most New Yorkers have never heard of.

The Vernon C. Bain Center is a barge that houses city inmates awaiting trial. It was docked next to Hunts Point in 1992 as a temporary solution to Rikers Island overcrowding.

City Councilman Rafael Salamanca, Jr. held a rally outside the Bain Center Thursday calling for the city to shut down the facility as part of the Mayor’s plan to close down Rikers Island in favor of local jails in the boroughs.

The Councilman told PIX11 “the Mayor has the sole authority to remove the 600 detainees that are here, empty this barge out and sink the boat.”

Former inmate Marvin Mayfield described the conditions inside the floating jail - “It's gloomy, dark and it's airless. And it really does resemble a slave ship.”

The Mayor’s office did not immediately respond to PIX11’s request for comment on this story.