They Led a Successful Campaign to Close Rikers, Now They Are Fighting Against Building New Jails
Date:  10-19-2019

No New Jails advocates for emptying out other crowded, dangerous, inhumane jails, not constructing new ones
From the No New Jails statement appearing in Medium:

We are outraged and disgusted by the result of Thursday’s City Council vote. With an opportunity to take a stand against the centuries-old and universally-failed strategy of fixing jails by building jails, the Council failed miserably. To the very last minute, politicians based their votes on duplicitous claims, outraged lies, and manufactured concern for formerly, currently, and futurly incarcerated people. Several pro-jail council members dared to speak the names of people who have been killed by the Department of Corrections while voting to give the DOC 8–12 new jails. But this fight is not over. These jails are not built, and they will not be built. We are more committed than ever to closing Rikers immediately with no new jails. And, no doubt about it: we will win.

“The City Council voting to build multi-billion dollar new jails is a disgrace. Their lack of moral clarity, their ignorance of history, their inability to process data, research, and analysis on the innate harms of incarceration, and their inability to understand the cruelty of all cages is unforgivable,” says Sophia Gurule, an immigration public defender and organizer with No New Jails.

Al Saint-Jean, of the Black Alliance for Just Immigration and No New Jails, affirms the illegitimacy and fraudulence of the vote: “The politicians who voted yes to spend billions on New Jails in NYC will be haunted by that for the rest of their lives in public service. This was not a vote to guarantee the closure of Rikers.” This was a vote to build new jails. Continue reading >>>