NYC's floating jail set to close next month, inmates to be transferred to Rikers Island
The Department of Correction announced the Vernon C. Bain Center in the Bronx will close in October.
The nearly 500 people in custody, along with 200 corrections officers and staff, will be transferred to Rikers Island.
"The reason for this move is to centralize operations on the island to more efficiently manage people in custody and deploy staff and resources," a spokesperson for the DOC said on Thursday.
The floating jail that is barged on the East River in Hunts Point opened nearly 30 years ago to help manage the increased population at Rikers Island.
Advocates who have been campaigning to end mass incarceration in the city say this is long overdue, but not a solution to the bigger issue at Rikers Island.
"The barge is going to close, but what's up with Rikers," said Edwin Santana, community organizer for the Freedom Agenda and a formerly incarcerated person at Rikers and the Vernon C. Bain Center. "Don't just deal with one problem and neglect the next issue, which is the closure of Rikers Island."
The city has plans to close Rikers by 2027, however last week Mayor Eric Adams asked the City Council to reconsider the plan due to public safety issues and rising costs.