Residents voice opposition to proposal for new Kew Gardens jail

KEW GARDENS, Queens (WABC) -- Residents of Queens voiced their opposition Wednesday night to the proposed construction of a new jail in Kew Gardens.

Hundreds of people attended a public informational meeting at Queens Borough Hall on the proposal to place a jail in Kew Gardens following the proposed future closure of Rikers Island.

The Queens Community Board has already voted unanimously for a resolution strongly opposing the proposed jail.

"A lot of visitors will come to visit the prisoners and it will make our neighborhood completely unsafe," a meeting attendee told Eyewitness News.

This proposal is part of a plan put forward by Mayor Bill de Blasio to construct community-based jails in the boroughs of Queens, Brooklyn, Manhattan and the Bronx after closing Rikers Island.

The proposal for the Kew Gardens jail includes a 1.9 million-square-foot facility that's capable of holding more than 1,600 inmates at a time.

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