Inside the fight against the Chinatown megajail project

Politicians and c​ommunity activists in Chinatown have dug in to oppose construction of a 22-story megajail in the heart of the historic neighborhood. The facility is part of the city’s $8.3 billion plan to replace Rikers Island.

The demolition of the existing Manhattan Detention Complex in Chinatown—famously known as The Tombs—and construction of a $2.3 billion facility in its place is part of a multiborough plan initiated in 2017. Four new jails—one each in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx—are scheduled to be built before 2027. Three of them are to be built on sites near courthouses where jails already exist, including the Chinatown project.

The City Council

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