More than a hundred New Yorkers chanted, “no More Jails,” near Police Plaza Thursday afternoon, determined to keep a jail out of their community.
They are against a proposed 40-story jail facility near Worth and Centre streets in Chinatown.
“We already have three-jail facilities in Chinatown and some people feel the promises around those were not filled,” said Cor Hazelaar, who’s lived in the area for 15 years and attended the rally.
She takes her daughter to nearby Columbus Park everyday.
“It will cast a shadow over the park," she said.
The proposed jail facility, which would have about 15-hundred beds for inmates along with day rooms and counseling services, is part of the city’s plan to close Rikers Island and open community-based jails throughout the five boroughs.
According to Mayr Bill de Blasio, the move will modernize the city’s justice system and make it smaller, safer and fairer.
“All night long the gate is going to go up and come down bringing prisoners in and out, it’s not something people want in their community,” said Elias Husamudeen, President of the Correction Officer’s Benevolent Association, who also attended the rally.
Local leaders say they want to see Rikers rebuilt, adding the money that will go towards the proposed local jails should go toward things like public housing and the city’s transit system.
“Everybody says let’s close Rikers, it’s 470-acres that can be rebuilt,” said Councilman Robert Holden.
A city spokesperson told PIX11 Thursday night, a fourth facility in lower Manhattan will not be added, instead the Manhattan Detention Complex will be replaced.
A series of public hearings will be held before anything becomes final.