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A Jail At Hunts Point In The South Bronx?

1830 words - 7 pages

The Gory State of the South Bronx
An area associated with lots of social problems, with over half of the population living below the poverty line, the South Bronx has become a community that people associate with prostitution, crime, and poverty. With two (2) juvenile detention centers, fifteen (15) waste transfer stations, and four (4) jails, the plan of the government to build a new jail in Hunts Point is most strange and unwelcome at that. “The city’s Economic Development Corporation is negotiating with Oak Point Energy to purchase a 28-acre parcel of former industrial land in the Hunts Point section of the South Bronx to be used for a new detention center to relieve overcrowding on Rikers Island.” The jail would cost $375 million, an amount of money that could be put into development projects for the community. The construction of this jail would mean the allocation of funds to non-pressing needs of the society. Against all odds, the wish of all concerned individuals is that the jail plan is stopped. However, the plan has drawn strong opposition from individuals and community groups.
For too long, Hunts Point has suffered from deprivation, supported by the state of affairs in the area. With a majority of colored people in the area, it has been prone to institutional and economical racism/segregation. The community is familiar to accepting what other communities have rejected. The jail to be designed is disguised under a reason that the Bronx has this only available space in the City to house a large prison and that the jail would bring the inmates closer to their families and relatives while creating a larger space to accommodate inmates. In the United States today, there are 2,319,258 inmates thereby making it the country with the largest inmate population in the world. It is said that a full third of all black men would be put in chains in their life time. With the numbers consistently on the rise, another jail (particularly in Hunts Point) would further increase the statistics. The community currently has four jails; Spofford Juvenile Center, the Horizon Juvenile Center, the Crossroads Juvenile Center, and the Vernon C. Bain Correctional Center (the jail barge proposed to be replaced) and another jail would literally “break” the community which a high rate of asthma and obesity due to lack of playgrounds and open spaces for exercise. This shows the insensitivity and contrast of the plan; a large space for a jail but not enough space for a playground. The construction of the jail in Hunts Point would serve as a source of ills to the society rather than a remedy to crimes. Additionally, while the jail would be increasing crime rate (through the jail cycle), it would be depriving the community of other benefits that could be acquired from the investment of the funds in other aspects. Instead of reducing the rate of crimes, the construction of the jail would expediate the rate at which former inmates return to jail thereby creating more...

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