If they build it,
they will fill it.
To avoid public opposition, Mayor de Blasio has manipulated the political process to bypass any real community input on building new jails. Instead, the only political decision that remains is whether to rezone the four selected NYC locations to build jails up to 50-stories tall – the tallest jails in the world. On October 16 and 17, 2019, City Council will vote on the land-use proposal for the jails plan. If they vote yes, construction on the jails could begin in 2020. The Mayor’s Office has already set aside money for new jail construction in the city’s budget.
Without your input, the City developed a $10.6 billion scheme to build four new jails without any binding commitment to close Rikers Island. No New Jails NYC formed to ensure that Rikers Island closes immediately without the construction of new jails. We believe that the people of New York City, especially those targeted for incarceration, are against any plan to build new jails, where all the horrors of Rikers will be re-enacted, simply at new addresses with fresh coats of paint.
Our plan is an open door for community and political stakeholders to join us in envisioning abolition in NYC, by divesting from police and prisons, and investing in community. We won’t wait for 2026, or a hundred years in the future, to demand what we need NOW, because we know that we keep us safe.
Right now the city intentionally funds an unsafe shelter system. Under this Mayor the homeless population has reached 60,000 - mostly families. We should use $10 billion to house every homeless person in NYC.
TRANSFORM MENTAL HEALTH
Jails punish and warehouse people with mental health needs. We have an opportunity to build mental health services that can provide holistic care for all New Yorkers. By divesting from prisons and police, the city could invest more than $500 million in non-coercive mental healthcare.
The Mayor is using repairs as an excuse to sell off 62,000 NYCHA units to private corporations. The money to expand Rikers should be used to repair NYCHA and create high-quality public housing.
GUARANTEE THE FUTURE
NYC could use these funds to create thousands of jobs for youth, more diverse and equitable classrooms to fulfill the needs for more teachers and counselors, and develop safe learning environments that set our children on the path towards success.
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