No New Jail

A new DemocracyNow clip has been released about the ongoing push led by our Councilmember Christopher Marte and Jan Lee and Jon Alpert, through Neighbors United below Canal, to repurpose existing prison facilities in Chinatown Manhattan to address the Riker Island’s crisis instead of waiting  for years for a multibillion jail to be built in that space. Watch the clip here:

Residents of New York’s Chinatown are speaking out against the construction of a new megajail in the neighborhood that would be a third as high as the Empire State Building, which would likely make it the tallest jail in the world, if finished. The so-called jailscraper is part of an $8 billion plan to build new jails across the city in order to retire the infamous Rikers Island facility, but opponents say that money would be better spent on social services, harm reduction and other initiatives that would better serve the community. Jan Lee, co-founder of the community group Neighbors United Below Canal, says Chinatown residents are interested in “creating a more humane environment for those who are incarcerated.”

Democracy Now! is an independent global news hour that airs on over 1,500 TV and radio stations Monday through Friday. Watch their livestream at Mondays to Fridays 8-9 a.m. ET.

Grand Street Dems supports the community’s direction and has participated in various rallies, including the ones showcased in the Democracy Now segment.  In February, the GSD executive board sent a letter to Mayor Adams urging him to do what the community is asking. You can read the full letter here: