But Justice Sylvia O. Hinds-Radix of State Supreme Court in Brooklyn also ruled that the city's hopes of doubling the facility's occupancy was a no-go, making the day a partial victory for both sides of the issue.
“The court’s decision clears the way for the city to continue to use the Brooklyn Detention Center as a jail for Brooklyn, just as it has since 1957,” Correction Commissioner Martin F. Horn said in a statement cited in The New York Times. “We will continue to maintain the jail in a condition for occupancy at its capacity.”
The Boerum Hill jail wasn't used to house inmates overnight from June 2003 until this past November. Since then, 31 inmates have enjoyed the accommodations.
It was “a huge victory for the community and a vindication of its right to meaningful public input before the city commits itself to such massive projects,” said Randy Mastro, a lawyer opposed to the jail's expansion.
As recently as 2006, plans had been floating about to convert part of the 760-bed jailhouse into a 24,000-square-foot shopping mall.
"The site is going to be redeveloped," correction commissioner Martin F. Horn told The Times in March 2006. "One way or another, retail is going to be there."
The jail achieved a measure of fame in1994 when it was immortalized in the Beastie Boys song "High Plains Drifter" from their grossly underappreciated album "Paul's Boutique":