$16.7 Million Center At Rikers Island Was Used For Only Three Months

Alex Pfeiffer White House Correspondent
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An inmate intake center at Rikers Island that cost taxpayers $16.7 million was only operational for three months.

The New York Post reports that the center, which opened in December of 2013 was eventually closed in March of 2014, after complaints of a poor layout and skyrocketing costs. All correctional officers that worked at the facility were paid overtime.

The facility was consisted of five renovated “bubble” buildings, each would have a specific purpose. One for holding, another processing, medical processing, and staging before assignment to jail housing.

The other extra “bubble” was to be used for storing equipment and supplies.

The center was the idea of former Correction Commissioner Dora Schriro and was opened during the end Mayor Bloomberg’s term. It was former Acting Commissioner Mark Cranston who shut it down.

He told the Post, “It was costing an exorbitant amount of money for worse results in processing time, and the decision was to close it, revert back to previous operations and reassess the location for another use.”

Currently officials say they don’t have any plans with how to use the empty facility, saying it’s currently used for training.

Cranston, who is now Warden in Middlesex County, N.J., proposed that the closed facility be repurposed for the usage of specialist physicians, instead of having convicts leave the island to see them.

“To this point, there have not been any decisions about what to do with that space, so it’s just sitting there,” a source told the Post.