Leah Meisterlin, Interview.

Leah: A huge distinction to realize is that rikers is not a prison, so the majority of them have not been disenfranchised, some are there for a few weeks, even those who are sentenced at rikers those by and larger are sentences are under a year, or else they would have been sent to prison, or they are incarcerated in state prisons, and are there for some sort of hearing and are there for that sort of thing.
Or they are being detained awaiting trail so that type of disenfranchisement has not taken effect.

Jesse: Are they voting absentee?

Leah: That would be amazing to know, would be just incredible to know. Also because it’s a jail, they only houses people awaiting trial within the local jurisdiction, granted is t 5 county consolidated jail.
So what you don’t have is a type of displaced population like you might have at Sing Sing. So what you have is a bunch of new Yorkers, living on an island in the middle of new York.
I don’t know if the census bureaus – maybe in the centennial census they are counted, but I am not sure in the American community survey they are counted, because the majority of people there they are detainees, and have homes.

Leah: If we are talking about enfranchisement, we should find out how the population of Rikers island, are counted because it’s those enumerations which determine the distribution of congressional districts.
The right to vote is regulated at the state level and in New York, after parole.

Jesse: what we are finding in terms of the census, even if it does affect the census in congressional voting distribution, does it actually have any type of effect in terms of distribution of resources? Does a district get resources distributed to it that are disproportionate to its non rikers populations?

Leah: I don’t know the answer to that question, because we don’t distribute resources by congressional districts.
Jesse: we are interested in what’s going to happen to the neighborhoods that rikers will be redistributed to.

Leah: The mayor’s office plan that basically confirms all the findings and makes a plan to act on those findings and last week they accelerated a timeline. T
RNDC is the first one to close. All of the facilities on the island, have 4 letter abbreviated names, RNDC is the first one to close, that’s the one the houses the kids, the 15-17 year olds.
Those plans are in place, the neighborhoods scheduled to be impacted, are to build what they are calling community jails, which are just county jails.

Jesse: Are they any different than the one on 110 across from central park?

Leah: they are going to be different, they’re larger the goal is to get the total incarcerated and detained population down as to not have to build larger institutions, as well as decrease the rate of arrests. The plan is to place them as close as possible to existing courthouses, so we know what locations are going ot be affected.

Jesse: When I imagine the distributions, I imagine these. It could be interesting to understand how that one works, unless the redistributed rikers would be a different thing than these.

Leah: You’re talking about boundary, arbitrary deliberated segments in which enumeration in one form or another happens, especially with its historical and its… the relationship between enumeration districting and governmentality and it’s just fucalt fucault fucault, and there are territories of resources distribution, population and governance management and infrastructural support management and resource distribution and

Any correctional facility can serve as a microcosm for a larger population, and there are many ways to map this parralell through explicit and overt population control through boundary and conditions and confinement relationships vs population control through containment relationships through boundaries that we cant see but none the less are put in to them and what we get in turn through our decision makers, is distributed via either these boundaries or other boundaries.

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