Rikers won’t be home to jail barge: Vallone

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The city Department of Corrections nixed a plan Friday to relocate the Vernon C. Bain Correctional Center prison barge from the Bronx’s Hunts Point to Rikers Island, City Councilman Peter Vallone Jr.’s (D-Astoria) office said in a statement.

The announcement came from Dora Schriro, commissioner of the Department of Corrections, at a Council Fire and Criminal Justice Services Committee preliminary budget hearing, Vallone said.

The news came as welcome to the councilman. Vallone said he had protested the barge being moved to Rikers when it was announced in August, as had Rose Marie Poveromo, president of the United Community Civic Association.

“Living in the community that has been under assault for more years than I care to remember. We welcome any positive changes to Rikers Island and certainly don’t need prisoners floating on the water — we have enough on land,” Poveromo said in a statement.

Vallone had said moving the 870-bed barge would “further strain northwest Queens, which already bears too many of the city’s burdens.”

Rikers Island is a part of the Bronx, but is accessible only from Astoria.

— Rebecca Henely

Updated 10:48 am, October 12, 2011
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