Molly Cotter

NY’s Vernon C. Bain Floating Prison is Like a Cruise Ship for Felons on the East River

by , 09/26/12

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New Yorkers are used to seeing plenty of boats in the East River, but not many know about this bizarre floating prison. The Vernon C. Bain Correctional Facility sits about a mile west of the SUNY Maritime College in the Bronx and was originally built in 1992 to alleviate overcrowding at Riker’s Island. While the inmates may dislike cramming into the 16 dormitories and 100 cells, they do get to enjoy roofdeck basketball and some pretty stellar waterfront views.



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The prison boat was constructed in New Orleans to the tune of $161 million and brought to New York shortly after. The price was a steal at the time, and the boat cost much less than building yet another landmass jail. The vessel is named after warden Vernon C. Bain who died in a car accident a few months before the prison opened.

In addition to the holding cells, the prison also contains a law library and a recreational room. It was even used for a short amount of time as a juvenile center, scaring young kids straight inside its dark vessel walls.

via gothamist 

images © Burger International Photography

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2 Comments

  1. ileana March 12, 2014 at 11:27 am

    Michel Foucault – Ship of Fools

  2. Géraldine Dean December 17, 2012 at 10:21 am

    didn’t know anything about that! incredibly awful!!!