Today’s news:

City pitches its $240M jail plan

The Brooklyn Paper

The city is taking another stab at redesigning the shuttered Brooklyn House of Detention in its ongoing effort to expand the jail and install retail space in the Atlantic Avenue facility.

The Department of Design and Construction will pay a developer $240 million to enlarge the currently closed, 11-story, 759-inmate prison into one that holds 1,469 troubled souls, plus boasts ground-floor retail on bustling Atlantic Avenue.

The city has long said that enlarging the pokey is necessary because its Rikers Island penal colony is crumbling, and the Department of Correction wants inmates closer to Downtown Brooklyn courts.

But neighborhood groups have been critical of all plans to expand the slammer, which is between Boerum Place and Smith Street and has been closed since 2003.

The latest request for proposals is a far cry from the city’s effort last year, when it asked developers to integrate residential housing and retail into the complex.

Such a request brought little interest — though Common Ground Council, Hamlin Ventures and Time Equities created a fanciful idea that included luxury housing and open space in a glass-walled doughnut around the jail.

That proposal went nowhere because it called for demolishing the existing jail and replacing it with a smaller detention center — a vision that doesn’t mesh with the city plan for expanding the jail, said Department of Correction spokesperson Steven Morello.

Another contentious proposal called for a public middle school on the premises. That idea was scotched within minutes after it was floated at a January meeting.

Developers interested in expanding the jail should submit proposals to the Department of Correction by April 11.

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Charles from Bklyn says:
If the obvious must be said, it's a prison. PRISON. Thirty years ago, it was known as the Brooklyn lock-up, the PRISON. You walk by it, you look at the bars and the lights inside, which are somehow blurred, and you say to yourself "I can't wait to get past the PRISON."

And for the people who live in that new condo bulding next to the prison, what were you thinking? Live and shop at the prison. Just too weird for normal people ... certainly people from Brooklyn.

For-get-about-it.
Charlees
Bklyn
April 4, 2008, 2:35 am
William Harris from Boerum Hill says:
A monster jail in Downtown is just wrong, stupid and wasteful. Learn more at a new website
www.brooklynjail.org. Or, email to brooklynjail
@hotmail.com. These are powerful new tools to help you learn and answer questions. All the elected officials in Downtown are opposed to any expansion. Learn why. Help stop this boon-doggle and see what you can do to help your electeds and your neighbors. A doubled jail in Downtown is a loser. Check the site and you'll
agree.
April 4, 2008, 8:17 pm
DAVID K. from BOERUM HILL says:
SOME ARITHMETIC: THIS PLAN COSTS $325,000 PER ADDITIONAL INMATE AND I'M GUESSING EACH ROOM WILL HOLD TWO. THAT'S $650,000 PER ROOM. DEBT SERVICE ON EACH ROOM WOULD RUN ABOUT $50,000 PER YEAR.

WHAT THE HELL'S WRONG WITH THESE PEOPLE AT CORRECTIONS? THIS IS OUR TAX MONEY.

WHY NOT BUILD THE JAIL IN WEST VIRGINIA AND FLY THE CROOKS IN ON LEAR JETS FOR OCCASIONAL COURT APPEARANCES. IT WOULD BE WAY CHEAPER.
April 6, 2008, 1:09 am

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