NYC’s Biggest COUP - Building 12 New Jails


We know @FordFoundation is trying to suppress the no new jails movement because they like to think they control the rate of social change. A letter sent by their head, Darren Walker, pushed us to expose all the ways money ties together those who are supporting this plan to incarcerate our future for decades. Our position looks less “unrealistic” when you realize the only thing “practical” about spending $11 billions while claiming to decarcerate is that it’s business as usual. Check it out, and let us know what else you learn as you #followthemoney with us.

If you cannot view the map, please click here to view.

This map connects the steam of money between major players including the City, large NGO’s, Foundations and the Private Company (AECOM who was awarded the jail expansion project).

Business As Usual.

The push to expand jails in NYC does not come from Black and working class communities but from the typical web of global corporations funding politicians allied with the largest foundations in the world, basically the same group of “progressive” people who built the punishment system in the first place. Bill de Blasio's administration jail expansion plan is EQUIVALENT to Trump’s wall and camps. The city’s jail plans are just a bunch of right wing ideas in progressive window dressing. They will let the next mayor keep Rikers Island open indefinitely while spending $11,000,000,000 on 12 new jails.

$11,000,000,000 on 12 new jails that will continue to SEPARATE families in NYC

Please take some time to review the money behind the “objective” opposition to our fight to shut Rikers down with no new jails and give $11 billion to our community.

Call to Action

We need you to call your New York City Council to demand they vote NO on this jail expansion plan.

Please click here to find your councilmembers phone number

Sample Script:

Hello, my name is {your name}, I live in {neighborhood} in {Councilmember’s} district. If it’s NOT your councilmember START: Could I talk to you or another staff person about the Coucilmember’s position on the Borough-Based Jails Plan?

The Councilmember has not yet taken a definite position in the press.

I’m calling to say that Councilmember [____] must take a public position that they are voting no. // Can I meet with you or Councilmember [____] to explain why? When? // Can I send you a detailed plan showing you how to close Rikers without building more jails? I will then follow-up with you.


If they say they are voting YES:

Is there a legally binding agreement to close Rikers? If they say voting NO: When will the Councilmember issue a public statement, supporting No New Jails, and committing to fighting for the $11 billion dollars allocated for jails be redirected into our real needs like NYCHA, affordable housing, education, and our community needs? We cannot defeat this plan, we cannot win $11 billion without your help.

If they say still UNDECIDED:

Councilmember [____] must take a position now and cannot rely on member deference. This decision will have major citywide impacts for generations, including for the council members’ own constituents. They will be remembered for their decision. What does the Councilmember need to make a decision?

To move a YES or UNDECIDED to NO:

The only things guaranteed by this land use proposal are that we will have more jails, more cages, and more brutal policing of Black and brown communities to fill those cages. We can and must close Rikers without new jails. If Councilmember [____] believes that our youth have a right to high quality public education and housing, to living free of violent police enforcement, to a bright future, then they will vote NO on the Mayor’s jails plan.

ADD your own concerns/knowledge/experience and ASK about their concerns about incarceration

This map is interactive, and will be constantly updated. If you have any other #followthemoney tips, please send them to