Miami-Dade County Corrections Director, Daniel Junior, will be presenting a proposal on the expansion of the TGK facility at the regularly scheduled City of Miami Springs City Council Meeting on Monday, March 9th at 7pm.
As you probably know by know, the Miami-Dade County Mayor has proposed the closure of a Miami-Dade Correctional Facility that is located downtown. The Mayor’s office wants to replace the aging downtown facility by building a new, 2,000 bed facility, next to the Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center (TGK) located at NW 36th Street and 72nd Avenue.
In addition, the proposal includes a 556 bed Intake and Release Center. This needs to be restated. We’re talking about over 500 beds for prisoners who may come in, sleep the night, and are then released within a day or a few days. In other words, we can expect hundreds of criminals to be released from the area of NW 36th Street and 72nd Avenue on a weekly basis. Add that up and you’re talking about thousands of criminals released in the area.
At the last Miami-Dade Board of County Commissioners, the release issue came up. There is a proposal that transportation would be made available to take released persons back home. This way, neighboring communities could feel safe that people released from the facility would not be wandering our community.
I call that plan a bunch of Bull Shark Excrement! I’m not saying that the County won’t try to provide transportation. We are in a time of relatively low fuel prices and a strong economy. When that changes, how long do you think the county will continue to pay for transportation services? Sorry. I’ve seen what happens when budgets get slashed and this won’t be a high priority when it’s time to balance the County Budget during a fiscal crisis.
You will likely hear about this proposal at Monday’s meeting and it’s a temporary solution. The permanent solution is to never allow this expansion to happen in our backyard. The permanent solution is for the County to build an expansion further west.
Everyone who lives in Miami Springs and Virginia Gardens hates to drive by this despicable eye sore in our backyard. Miami Springs and VG residents have paid the price already. Why must we pay more with the equivalent of another full size jail added to the existing TGK?
MS and VG residents and businesses already have to deal with people who are released today and enter our community. MS and VG residents have even had to deal with the occasional (albeit rare) escaped inmate. Helicopters flying overhead while residents are asked to keep their doors locked and their children indoors.
This proposal by Miami-Dade County is uncaring and thoughtless towards the residents of Miami Springs and Virginia Gardens. Furthermore, its uncaring towards all the tourists who travel via NW 36th Street to the nearby hotels, shopping and travel destinations, and of course, Miami International Airport.
The County’s longterm plan should be to eliminate TGK. Period. It’s a horrible location for a jail next to a residential community and one of the most traveled roads by tourists, business people, and most importantly residents.
The long term plan for TGK should be to move it out west, just the Everglades Correctional Facility. That facility bothers nobody.
Fortunately, Commissioners Rebeca Sosa and Jose “Pepe” Diaz have been fighting on our behalf. We need to continue to support their efforts to deny the expansion at the TGK facility.
Here’s what you can do:
1 – Attend Monday’s City Council Meeting at 7pm
2 – Contact the County Commissioners
District 6 Main Office
1000 SW 57th Avenue, Suite 201, Miami, FL 33144
Jose “Pepe” Diaz
District 12 Main Office
8345 NW 12th Street, Miami, FL 33126