Protest against the Kew Gardens jail proposal to take place in coming days

Queens electeds split on mayor’s plan to bring jail to Kew Gardens
Courtesy of the mayor’s office.

A Kew Gardens husband-wife team are organizing a protest to the de Blasio administration’s plan to place a borough-based jail in Kew Gardens in a rally at the steps of Queens Borough Hall on April 13.

Nancy and Eric Horn are part of the grassroots group No Kew Gardens Jail and are planning for the rally to take place from 1 to 3 p.m. as part of a larger outreach effort against the plan to close Rikers Island and establish community jails.

“We feel that our elected officials have largely abandoned us to [Mayor de Blasio’s] designs and we are conducting door-to-door outreach and organizing the protest to help give the community a voice in opposition to the proposed jail,” Nancy Horn said.

Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the plan to close jails on Rikers Island in 2017 after former Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito convened the Lippman Commission to advise the city on how they could rebuild correctional infrastructure in the city to modernize the justice system.

In order to reduce the number of detainees citywide to a number closer to 5,000 and reduce time spend transporting people from the isolated island to courts in the five boroughs, the commission suggested smaller facilities adjacent to courthouses.

The Kew Gardens jail slated for 126-02 82nd Ave. will stand no taller than 27 stories and accommodate around 1,437 beds, according to the draft environmental review.

Horn is urging those against the plan to call Councilwoman Karen Koslowitz who represents the area and has expressed support for the plan.

The City Planning Commission certified the ULURP application last week to begin proceedings which could lead to the construction of the Kew Gardens jail.