When we learned last summer about plans to build a large-scale parole facility on the Gowanus many of us were concerned. Without our knowledge the NYS Department of Corrections & Community Supervision (DOCCS) had moved forward with long term plans to build a facility for all of Brooklyn’s parolees at an isolated location (15 Second Avenue) in our neighborhood.
We are an inclusive community, that believes in second chances, and willing to do our fair share, as part of a thoughtful plan. But serving all 6,000 of Brooklyn’s parolees at one site, inconvenient to transit, at a location that required a long walk through quiet residential and industrial blocks, was a bad idea for community residents, small businesses, and parolees themselves. As this article made clear, “literally no one was happy about it.” The community mobilized – through public meetings, petitions, forming the Gowanus United coalition of area residents and business owners, and bringing a lawsuit – to push for a better plan. Read more »