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City councilmembers rally against expansion of Queens jail beds, demand action from Eric Adams

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In a show of united opposition, a coalition of more than a dozen city councilmembers has come together to challenge the Adams administration’s decision to increase the bed capacity of Queens’ upcoming borough-based jail facility.

The move has sparked significant backlash, led by City Councilmember Sandy Nurse, chair of the council’s Committee on Criminal Justice, alongside 14 other women councilmembers.

Their outcry culminated in a formal letter addressed to Mayor Eric Adams, urging a reversal of plans to enlarge the number of beds designated for women and gender-expansive individuals at the proposed Queens facility, slated to eventually occupy Kew Gardens.

Councilmember Nurse, a vocal advocate for criminal justice reform, underscored the importance of rethinking the scope of the borough-based jail project, aligning with broader calls for a transformative approach to incarceration.

The signatories expressed concerns over potential implications of expanding jail capacity, emphasizing the necessity of prioritizing alternative solutions over carceral expansion.

The proposal to escalate the bed count in the Queens jail has fueled debates around the city’s commitment to progressive criminal justice policies, especially in light of recent shifts in leadership following the Adams administration’s inauguration.

The councilmembers’ stance has sparked a wider dialogue within the city, drawing attention to the complexities of the carceral system and highlighting divergent perspectives on effective reform strategies.

Mayor Adams’ response to this growing dissent will be closely watched, as stakeholders on both sides continue to engage in a charged discourse over the future of incarceration practices in New York City.

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