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News stories tagged with "corrections"

Chateaugay Correctional Facility, now on the NYS surplus property list. Photo: Empire State Development Agency
Chateaugay Correctional Facility, now on the NYS surplus property list. Photo: Empire State Development Agency

How to close a North Country prison

A few weeks from today, New York state will close four more of its prisons, including two here in the North Country: Chateaugay Correctional Facility in Franklin County and Mt. McGregor in northern Saratoga County.

It's a controversial decision, deeply painful to many people in those communities.

But how do you actually close a prison?  Go to full article
Michael Powers, speaking at a rally in Albany to save the Ogdensburg Correctional Facility. Photo from Powers' website, used by permission
Michael Powers, speaking at a rally in Albany to save the Ogdensburg Correctional Facility. Photo from Powers' website, used by permission

North Country corrections officer could be next to lead the union

Next month, New York will close four more of its prisons. Among them: Chateaugay Correctional Facility in Franklin County and Mt. McGregor in Saratoga County. The closures come as part of Governor Cuomo's pledge to "reduce the madness of an incarceration society." And the Department of Corrections has reported empty beds in their prisons--they estimate the recent series of closures will save taxpayers $184 million.

The loudest voices fighting to keep those prisons open are members of New York's prison guard union--NYSCOPBA--which is set to elect their next president next month. One of frontrunners in the race to head up the union hails from the North Country.  Go to full article

Call-in: the future of the North Country prison industry

Guests include Brother Yusuf Abdul-Wasi Burgess, a former inmate who spent time in North Country prisons and now works as a youth counselor and activist. We also hear from Donn Rowe, head of NYSCOPBA, the prison guard union, who has fought to keep North Country prisons open. And we hear from Donald Bilow, a town supervisor from Chateaugay, where the prison is due to close in July.

Prison Time Media Project reporters Brian Mann and Natasha Haverty, and NCPR News Director Martha Foley, along with guests take calls and questions from listeners.  Go to full article
Chateaugay Correctional Facility, source of 110 jobs in northern Franklin County, is slated to close in July.  File photo.  Brian Mann
Chateaugay Correctional Facility, source of 110 jobs in northern Franklin County, is slated to close in July. File photo. Brian Mann

Budget deal closes two North Country prisons

A budget deal worked out over the weekend appears to lock in plans to mothball two North Country prisons, including facilities in Chateuagay in Franklin County and Mt. McGregor in Saratoga County.

According to a report in the Auburn Citizen newspaper, a total of four prisons statewide will be closed in July.

Prison guards and local officials from the North Country rallied earlier this month in Albany, demanding that Governor Cuomo keep at least some of the correctional facilities open.  Go to full article
Corrections officers from the North Country rallied in Albany on Tuesday, protesting closure of Chateaugay Correctional Facility Photo:  Gary Carlsen, NYSCOPBA, used with permission
Corrections officers from the North Country rallied in Albany on Tuesday, protesting closure of Chateaugay Correctional Facility Photo: Gary Carlsen, NYSCOPBA, used with permission

Guards rally in Albany to block NY prison closures

Hundreds of prison guards, many from the North Country, rallied yesterday outside the Capitol in Albany, demanding that Gov. Andrew Cuomo cancel a plan to mothball four state prisons in July.

The closure list includes two state prisons in the North Country, Chateaugay Correctional Facility in northern Franklin County, and Mt. McGregor in Saratoga County.  Go to full article
Franklin County legislator Billy Jones calls for action to stop the closure of Chateaugay Correctional Facility in his home town. NCPR file Photo: Brian Mann
Franklin County legislator Billy Jones calls for action to stop the closure of Chateaugay Correctional Facility in his home town. NCPR file Photo: Brian Mann

Rally to save prisons today in Albany

A rally is planned for later this morning in Albany to protest the planned closure of four state prisons across New York, including Chateaugay and Mt. McGregor here in the North Country.

Local leaders face tough choices in the weeks ahead. They're still fighting to save local prisons, and the jobs and economic funds that come with correctional facilities.

But they're also hoping to work with the Cuomo administration to win millions of dollars in redevelopment funds.  Go to full article
Chateaugay Correctional Facility in Franklin County is among four slated for closure. Image: Google Maps
Chateaugay Correctional Facility in Franklin County is among four slated for closure. Image: Google Maps

NY closing four prisons gradually over a year

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) New York's corrections chief says the latest prison closings have been taking place gradually following notifications last summer and shuttering half-empty facilities should save taxpayers $30 million.

Department of Corrections and Community Supervision Acting Commissioner Anthony Annucci, testifying before legislators Wednesday, says the state inmate total has dropped from 71,600 in 1999 to about 54,200 currently.  Go to full article
Tower at Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora (Source:  Wikipedia)
Tower at Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora (Source: Wikipedia)

NY prisons "heavily reliant" on overtime work

A new report issued this week finds that overtime pay in New York's prison system continues to grow. Prisons are one of the biggest employers in the North Country.

The study by the state Comptroller's office found that the Department of Correctional Services spent more than $160 million on overtime last year.  Go to full article
The village of Dannemora, NY and Clinton-Dannemora prison, one of the facilities that remains open here in the North Country. Photo: Natasha Haverty
The village of Dannemora, NY and Clinton-Dannemora prison, one of the facilities that remains open here in the North Country. Photo: Natasha Haverty

Cuomo cuts corrections budget, closes prisons

Cuomo still plans to close four prisons later this year, including two here in the North Country. In his speech yesterday the Governor also spoke about putting more resources into programs to help offenders return to society and stay in society.

This comes only a few weeks after Cuomo talked about rolling back the "madness" of mass incarceration in New York. The new budget reduces funding for the Department of Corrections by $8 million.  Go to full article

Watertown program helps keep people out of prison

In his state of the state address last week, Governor Andrew Cuomo called for more taxpayer dollars to be spent keeping people out of prison. Now the governor's office has unveiled a list of programs that will receive a first round of funding - roughly $5 million dollars in total.

Brian Mann has been following prison-related issues over the last year as part of our Prison Time Media Project.

This morning, Brian reports that one of the programs receiving new dollars from the state is the Urban Mission in Watertown, which helps people with drug and alcohol problems avoid serving time.  Go to full article

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