bronxjail.jpgUnlike new neighbors of the partially decommissioned Brooklyn House of Detention, who seemed to have been caught flat-flooted at the prospect of the jail's re-opening and expansion, the residents of Hunts Point in the Bronx were organized in voicing their displeasure with the proposal to build a jail in their neighborhood.

Demonstrators gathered in Hunts Point Friday, again protesting a proposed jail set to be built on an industrial site in the Bronx neighborhood.

The project costs hundreds of millions of dollars and officials say the facility is needed to improve a system now dependent on Rikers Island.

But to protesters, the money would be better spent.

"The city wants to build a jail here in the Bronx when there are so many other needs of the community that continue to be unmet,” said one local resident. “So, we're marching in protest because we are taxpayers."

The New York Times says that the opposition includes an unusual coalition of prison reform advocates, members of the union that represents jail guards, environmentalists, and neighbors. The Bronx's last House of Detention was demolished to make way for a $500 million shopping mall. Now the Dept. of Corrections wants to purchase the large tract of land across the water from Rykers Island that has been used in the past as an illegal dumping ground. A new facility would be called the Oak Point Detention Center and would feature a 2,000-bed capacity for inmates.