The most depressing barge in the world


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New York City Prison Barge, The Vernon C. Bain Center, is an 800-bed jail barge that is designed to handle inmates from medium- to maximum-security in 16 dormitories and 100 cells. It resides on the East River approximately one mile west of SUNY Maritime College.

The barge falls under the New York City Department of Corrections and is part of the vast Rikers Island jail complex, the world’s largest penal colony. The prison barge was built in New Orleans for $161 million and brought to New York in 1992 to reduce overcrowding on the island’s land-bound buildings. Since the jail is not permanently moored to the shore, Coast Guard regulations require that she have 3 maritime crew on board at all time, including a mate, an engineer and an oiler.

Class-ridden NYC at its typical best. Let’s find an efficient and cheap way to warehouse folks we deem to be criminals. Rikers’ reputation for murder, rape, beatings, maltreatment and subhuman conditions is world-class.

One old gangbanger mate of mine was a screw at Riker’s for decades. He finally transferred to the Transit Coppers to regain his sanity.

8 thoughts on “The most depressing barge in the world

  1. 186-802 says:

    “Large reductions in prison population can be made without endangering public safety” http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2016-05/iu-lri051116.php “Is Downsizing Prisons Dangerous? The Effect of California’s Realignment Act on Public Safety,” was authored by Jody Sundt, associate dean and associate professor at the School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis; Emily Salisbury, an associate professor of criminal justice at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas; and Mark Harmon, an assistant professor in the Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice in the Hatfield School of Government at Portland State University.
    “The results provide evidence that large reductions in the size of the prison population can be made without endangering the overall safety of the public,” Sundt said. “Three years after the passage of the Realignment Act, California crime rates remained at levels comparable to what we would predict if the prison population had remained at 2010 levels.”
    According to the paper, within 15 months of its passage, realignment reduced the total prison population by 27,527 inmates and saved $453 million. …”For the first time in decades, it appears that a window of opportunity for justice reform is opening to allow for a reevaluation of the effectiveness and wisdom of policies that have created the largest prison population in the world,” the researchers wrote.”

  2. Therebut4 says:

    A federal judge in Brooklyn, in an extraordinary opinion (pdf) issued on Wednesday that calls for courts to pay closer attention to how felony convictions affect people’s lives, sentenced a woman in a drug case to probation rather than prison, saying the collateral consequences she would face as a felon were punishment enough. The judge, Frederic Block of Federal District Court, said such consequences served “no useful function other than to further punish criminal defendants after they have completed their court-imposed sentences.” The judge noted that there were nearly 50,000 federal and state statutes and regulations that imposed penalties on felons. http://www.allgov.com/news/unusual-news/federal-judge-issues-unusual-ruling-calling-for-probation-instead-of-prison-in-drug-case-citing-post-conviction-consequences-160526?news=858877

  3. 4thEstate says:

    “Mainstream Outlets Have Not Covered A Major Nationwide Prison Strike” (Oct 12, Media Matters) http://mediamatters.org/blog/2016/10/12/mainstream-outlets-have-not-covered-major-nationwide-prison-strike/213759 “On September 9, inmates at prisons in at least 12 states began work stoppages and other protest actions to draw attention to unfair labor practices and living conditions in U.S. prisons. The strikes, which were primarily work stoppages but also included hunger striking and other forms of peaceful protest, began on the anniversary of the deadly 1971 Attica prison uprising, which began as a means to call attention to prison conditions. Estimates suggest that more than 24,000 inmates in at least 12 states participated in strikes that day and reportedly inmates in several prisons are still continuing acts of protest on a rolling basis, though activity is thought to be “apparently winding down.” These numbers — if corroborated — would make the September 9 actions the largest prison strike in U.S. history. https://theintercept.com/2016/09/16/the-largest-prison-strike-in-u-s-history-enters-its-second-week/ In Alabama, the epicenter of strike organizing, guards joined the effort, launching an informal labor strike to highlight prison overcrowding — conditions that make prisons less safe for both inmates and guards. http://fusion.net/story/351812/holman-prison-guard-strike-work-stoppage/ And the U.S. Department of Justice launched a “possibly unprecedented” statewide investigation into conditions in Alabama prisons last week.” https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/oct/06/alabama-prison-doj-investigation

  4. Meanwhile says:

    On Rikers Island, in a cell block for the jail’s most violent inmates, young men sit for hours, feet shackled to “restraint desks.” The school-like desks, outfitted with chains and locks, are located in specialized cell blocks called Enhanced Supervision Housing units. In the most secure levels, inmates who have committed violent infractions—caused injury to another inmate or guard, or attempted to stab or slash someone in jail—can leave their cells for a minimum of seven hours every day, but must be locked to the desks for much of that time.
    Officials said they created the units as a more humane alternative to solitary confinement and that the units helped make Rikers the nation’s first jail to stop isolating young inmates. But a new report from the New York City Board of Correction suggests they may have traded one problematic practice for another. https://psmag.com/news/damaging-new-secure-housing-unit-causing-problems-on-rikers-island Includes link to NYC Board of Correction report “Assessments of Enhanced Supervision Housing (ESH) and ESH for Young Adults”

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