The $450 Million Price Tag for Riker’s Island Project – Is it Criminal?

Construction costs for new housing in New York City remain the highest in the nation–and that includes inmate housing on Riker’s Island which is paid for with taxpayer dollars.

The estimated cost of a 1,500-bed detention center on Riker’s Island, as stated in the Request for Proposal, is $450 million. This translates into $300,000 per bed, substantially higher than other areas of the country. In South Carolina, for instance, a new 1,500 bed prison facility would cost approximately $73,000 per bed for a total cost $109.5 million if constructed this fiscal year, according to Sharon E. Scott, Manager for Architectural/Engineering Services at the Department of Corrections in South Carolina. (more…)

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