Last operating US prison ship, a grim vestige of mass incarceration, set to close in NYC

December 8, 2023


Kenneth Williams spent his whole life in Brooklyn, but it wasn't until a night in 2018 when he crossed a narrow footbridge in shackles, that he learned about New York City’s last floating jail. “Every once in a while you could feel the boat dropping into the muck,” Williams, 62, said. Docked in the shallows off an industrial edge of the South Bronx, the Vernon C. Bain Correctional Center is a five-story jail barge that stretches the length of two football fields, resembling a container ship stacked with cargo.

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