After Eight Years, BK Detention Center Reopens This Week

It may not be as swanky as the annual BHA House Tour, but hundreds of locals attended an open house Saturday at the Brooklyn Detention Center, located within a whisper of Brooklyn Heights at 275 Atlantic Avenue off Smith Street in Boerum Hill.

The event, where carrot cake and coffee were served, is part of a city PR campaign to stave off fears about the jail’s reopening this week, after being shuttered in 2003 because of budget cuts. It is destined to replace older jail buildings at Rikers Island that may be phased out. In all, the facility will house 759 inmates for an average of 57 days before standing trial in Brooklyn and Staten Island. No convicted felons are based at the Detention Center.

Over the last six years, six high-rise apartment buildings, such upscale stores as Barney’s Co-op and Trader Joe’s and a boutique hotel have opened in the vicinity, but the city assures local residents that neighbors won’t interact with inmates, thanks to an underground tunnel that connects the jailhouse to the courts. Then again, BDC sounds like a pretty lovely destination: The 10-story building offers a rooftop with a view where prisoners can play tennis and handball during their one hour of outside recreation each day.

Some local associations have formed an advisory board if problems do arise. Read more in The Wall Street Journal here and The New York Times here.

(Photo: Gothamist)

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  • Bob Stone

    @Yonder The transportation of prisoners for multiple hearings, pre- and post-trial is not a “minimal” expense. The Corrections Dept. buses idling on Court Street–a source of so many complaints a year or so ago–were just a fraction of those that make the tortuous rush-hour trips from Rikers to this area, seven days a week. Each bus is staffed with a driver and corrections officers and squander lots of wait-time until the return trip. Like the House of D or not, there was never a promise that it wouldn’t re-open. It’s ugly, unpleasant, all that, but it’s also irresistibly cost-effective and that’s why it’s back.

  • mlo

    Really?- do you think degenerate people don’t go to LICH hospital anyway. Anyway that area will be fine. People will continue to pay a million dollars to live there as long as RE industry continues to tell them its “the place to live” – look at what’s happening all over -latest example “Greenwood Heights”

    Someof you have no idea- and I mean this with the most sincerity- 20 years ago you couldn’t have paid some of you folks to get out of your car down in Dumbo- now people are paying millions to live there

    It would be interesting to know-so I hope many of you will repsond-
    Question: Would you rather live next to a cemetary or a jailhouse?

    For me- I’ll take the jailhouse- I already live in a haunted brownstone- so I’ll take Brooklyn House of D for sure!

  • Master Of Middagh

    @Brooklyn Tea- You’ll be thankful for such amenities when you get incarcerated for beating up an immigrant. Nobody thinks you’re tough on crime when you try to take rights away from people WHO HAVEN’T EVEN BEEN CONVICTED- they just think you’re a foolish bully who looks for any excuse to punish or look down on others…

  • Knight

    @mlo: I’d rather live next to the cemetery. I don’t know how the House of D will be, but cemeteries are quiet and well maintained pieces of property. Sure I’d have to listen to the sound of Taps playing on the occasional morning, but it beats listening to the guys who live next door to me now!

  • resident

    @Gerry: Not saying they won’t commit another crime. Saying they won’t mug a guy for his precious iPad around the corner from the jail.

  • sarah

    My boyfriend actually got transfered to BDC and he’s innocent he didn’t do nothing wrong…so not every man who’s locked up is a criminal…There is people who is incarcerated and their innocent it don’t give u guys no right to be talking about these men like this…You people are so judgemental…u judge a book by its cover before even opening it up…how would u feel if someone were to think so negatively of ur loved one…I go only to visit my fiance nothing more nothing less…nobody likes going to these facilities just to spend a hour with your loved one…please stop think so negative and give this facility a chance before already making assumptions