City Agrees To Increase Mourners' Access To Mass Graves On Hart Island

Gothamist.pngBy Emma Whitford

More mourners will be allowed to visit the mass graves on Hart Island, the burial site for New York City's indigent dead, according to a new modification of a 2015 settlement between the New York Civil Liberties Union and the city. The Department of Correction, which has managed the island since the 1940s, has also agreed to photograph grave visits for families as part of a three-month pilot program.

...A group of advocates and City Council members, including Manhattan Council Member Mark Levine, support legislation that would shift Hart Island jurisdiction to the Parks Department, ideally expanding public access.

"You should want to visit Hart Island," Levine said at a hearing last January. "It's a spectacular place with views of the city and a dozen historical buildings. Unfortunately you can't, because it's run by the DOC."

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