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Queens Chronicle

Koz makes herself triple clear on jail

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Posted: Thursday, September 12, 2019 10:30 am

A key political figure in the fight over Mayor de Blasio’s ambitious plan to build a new jail in Kew Gardens is calling the size of the proposed lockup “absolutely, absolutely, absolutely unacceptable.”

Councilwoman Karen Koslowitz (D-Forest Hills) — whose approval is considered critical if Mayor de Blasio is to realize his goal of shutting down Rikers Island and building four new, decentralized jails — last week suggested to a top aide to the mayor that the price of her support may be shrinking the size of the proposed 27-story lockup.

“We had a facility for 40 years — it’s still there — for 500 prisoners,” Koslowitz told Dana Kaplan, deputy director of the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice who has served as de Blasio’s point person for the jail plan, at last week’s City Council hearing. “It’s only eight stories high.

“Twenty-seven stories is absolutely unacceptable to me and to my community,” she said. “It cannot be that tall.”

The plan to build new jails in every borough except Staten Island, each with room for 1,150 prisoners, has proved an uphill battle for the de Blasio administration.

The proposal is now before the City Council, which is expected to vote on it some time in late October.

Traditionally, members defer to fellow lawmakers whose districts are directly affected by land-use changes like the jail plan.

Last July, Koslowitz told the Chronicle that her “goal” was to persuade officials to reduce the size of the new jail to 500 beds, the same number as the old lockup.

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1 comment:

  • Buster57 posted at 6:16 pm on Thu, Sep 12, 2019.

    Buster57 Posts: 79

    Why no jail in Staten Island? Who are they paying off? I am still waiting for Melinda Katz to respond to my inquiry on where she stands on the closing of Rikers. Everyone I talk to is opposed to it.