New York to shutdown 2 prisons, including Lincoln Correctional Facility that overlooks Central Park
Two New York prisons — including one at the northern edge of Central Park that commands sweeping views of the famous green space — are going to be closed down for good in the next 90 days, the Daily News has learned.
Lincoln Correctional Facility, which has been a minimum-security men’s prison at 31–33 West 110th St. since 1976, will cease operations at the end of the summer, according to a statement Friday from the Department of Corrections and Community Supervision, which runs state prisons.
The Livingston Correctional Facility in upstate New York will also be closed, the agency said.
Both prisons will be shuttered due to a drop in crime and corresponding dip in incarceration rates, according to DOCCS.
“In 2017, reported crime reached an all-time low since statewide reporting began in 1975. Preliminary data for 2018 shows that crime continued to decline for the sixth consecutive year and will mark yet another historic low. This has cemented New York’s position as the safest large state in the nation,” the agency’s statement said.
The state budget authorized the closure of up to three prisons — but after an analysis by DOCCS of the operations of each of New York’s 52 facilities, it was determined that only two should be shut down.
Staffers at each location — 113 at Lincoln and 327 at Livingston — will be transitioned to other state facilities or agencies, DOCCS said.
Lincoln currently houses 133 inmates, some of them white-collar criminals and others who are part of a work-release program for drug offenders.
No decision has been made about the future of the gray stone building, which was built in 1914 as a branch of the Young Women’s Hebrew Association, but the state in the past has sold off empty prisons.
Given the Lincoln’s location on 110th St. in Harlem -- with its unobstructed views into Central Park -- the building is sure to attract the attention of developers looking to capitalize on the famous neighborhood’s cachet.
One of Malcolm X’s assassins, Thomas Hagan, aka Talmadge X Hayer, was imprisoned there, records show.
Under Gov. Cuomo, the prison population has declined by over 10,500 since 2011, according to DOCCS. The current population of roughly 47,000 is 18% less than the 57,000 imprisoned when he took office.