By Jon Cronin, Editor
In the wake of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s proposal to close Rikers Island, a group of City Council members have authored a letter to the mayor to float the idea of utilizing the former detention complex at the Kew Gardens courthouse as a location to house inmates from the jail complex.
On Tuesday, Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley (D-Glendale), who spearheaded the idea, said that she received positive feedback from the mayor’s office.
“I’m encouraged the mayor was receptive to our proposal to use the Queens Detention Complex in the plan to close Rikers,” she said. “Using this site, the original jail in Queens County, will save millions of New Yorkers’ tax dollars. It is a central location in the borough, right in the backyard of the courthouse.”
Crowley stated in the letter that she and her colleagues are against creating a new jail in the neighborhoods of Queens and that the Kew Gardens location would save the city a potential $30 million spent transporting inmates to Queens Criminal Court.
The Kew Gardens jail, which is connected to the Queens Criminal Court, was closed in 2002 after 40 years of use and now provides office space and locales for movie and TV shows, such as Netflix’s Orange is the New Black.
Read more this Thursday in the Queens Tribune.