Stand with our Community to Oppose the Queens Jail Mega-Structure Proposal.

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Mayor de Blasio is proposing to close the Rikers Island jail and replace it with four “community” jails in Queens, Manhattan, Brooklyn and the Bronx.

In Queens this means building an overpowering 29-story 1,500-inmate facility behind the Queens Criminal Court in Kew Gardens. It will be a two million square foot complex, dominating what is now an open skyline.

It means closing a city street (part of 82nd Avenue) forever to incorporate it into the massive structure and demolishing the current parking lot, finished a year ago at a cost of several million dollars.

It also means increased traffic in a neighborhood with narrow residential streets already suffering under the burden of increased city traffic and increased strains on public transportation, water, sewers, sanitation, etc. with no plan in place to upgrade such infrastructure.

It means the destruction of a stable, middle class community that residents have spent decades building.

The proposed “neighborhood jails” were conceived and planned in secret and, at least in Queens, without any input whatsoever from the immediately affected communities (such as Briarwood, Kew Gardens, Forest Hills) or any other community in Queens.

We all found out about it in an under-the-radar, late afternoon press release from the Mayor’s office on August 15. There was no community input despite the Mayor’s inaccurate fabricated statements in his press release that the communities were consulted.

Elected officials never told their constituents that the proposal went far beyond the original notion of renovating existing facilities. The effect of the proposed facilities on the surrounding communities were not discussed at all in the press releases.

What also was not disclosed was a real cost estimate other than an unsourced estimate of 10 Billion Dollars for all four facilities. There was no discussion of renovating Rikers or the cost of such renovations. All we have are a set of drawings from an architectural firm that seemed to have consulted no one unless it was the Mayor and his inner circle.

If you think that the proposed jail has no business being built in residential communities near schools, that the whole process is suspect because it was done in secret, that is being forced on Queens residents and that the City has better uses for 10 Billion Dollars then please sign our petition.

Let the Mayor and elected officials know this facility should not be built.

Community jails are wrong for communities! #noqueensjail #nocommunityjails

- The Community Preservation Coalition