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News stories tagged with "corrections"

View from a subway platform in Bedford-Stuyvesant, one of the neighborhoods in New York city with the highest concentration of men and women admitted to prison. Photo: Natasha Haverty
View from a subway platform in Bedford-Stuyvesant, one of the neighborhoods in New York city with the highest concentration of men and women admitted to prison. Photo: Natasha Haverty

Cuomo: "reducing the madness of an incarceration society"

Cuomo also talked about the state of prisons in New York yesterday. And according to the Governor, there's good news, and there's bad news.  Go to full article
Police take a suspect into custody as part of a drug sweep in Saranac Lake.  This strategy has been used for decades to reduce drug-related crime in the North Country. Photo: Chris Knight
Police take a suspect into custody as part of a drug sweep in Saranac Lake. This strategy has been used for decades to reduce drug-related crime in the North Country. Photo: Chris Knight

North Country drug war continues, despite debate

This year, North Country Public Radio is looking in-depth at America's 40 year era of mass incarceration - a period of American history that saw the massive growth of prisons around the US, and here in our region. This week, we're focusing on how those policies changed the North Country.

A big part of the rising inmate population has stemmed from the war on drugs. Under state and Federal law, millions of felons have spent much longer sentences behind bars.

That's starting to change. In 2009, New York state reformed the Rockefeller drug laws. As a result, the number of drug offenders behind bars in New York's has dropped by two-thirds.

Despite state and national debate, however, many local and state law enforcement agencies still use many of the same tough-on-crime strategies that have shaped America's drug war for decades.  Go to full article
Brother Yusuf  Abdul-Wasi (R) and Joe Hackett (L) with moderator Russell Banks at an event hosted by John Brown Lives. Photo: Brian Mann
Brother Yusuf Abdul-Wasi (R) and Joe Hackett (L) with moderator Russell Banks at an event hosted by John Brown Lives. Photo: Brian Mann

A prison inmate, a corrections worker, a conversation

This week, our Prison Time Media Project is focusing in-depth on the the world of corrections here in the North Country.

There are more than a dozen state and Federal prisons in our region, from Cape Vincent to the town of Moreau. The industry is a pillar of the economy in many rural towns.

But those prisons are also a place where prison guards, civilian workers and inmates struggle every day to communicate, grappling with huge differences of race and class.

Two men -- a former inmate and a former corrections worker -- are working to bridge that divide by talking about their shared experience behind bars.  Go to full article
Community leaders meeting in Chateaugay to orchestrate fight to save the state correctional facility. Photo: Brian Mann
Community leaders meeting in Chateaugay to orchestrate fight to save the state correctional facility. Photo: Brian Mann

How prisons became the North Country's normal

This year, North Country Public Radio has been looking in-depth at New York's Rockefeller drug laws and how those laws reshaped our state over the last forty years.

This week, the series will focus on the North Country, which is home to more than a dozen state and federal prisons.

Corrections work has grown into one of the region's biggest and most controversial industries, providing thousands of high paying jobs, and anchoring the economies in towns from Malone to Moriah.

As part of our Prison Time Media Project, Brian Mann has a special report on how the North Country became a magnet for new prisons and how the industry is facing new scrutiny.  Go to full article

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Franklin County legislator Billy Jones calls for action to stop the closure of Chateaugay Correctional Facility in his home town. Photo: Brian Mann
Franklin County legislator Billy Jones calls for action to stop the closure of Chateaugay Correctional Facility in his home town. Photo: Brian Mann

Another North Country town rallies to save its prison

This year, we're looking in-depth at the North Country's prison industry, how it grew into one of the region's top employers and how it's changing.

Over the weekend, hundreds of corrections officers, families, and elected officials gathered in Chateaugay in northern Franklin County.

They came to protest the latest round of state prison closures, now slated for 2014.

Four correctional facilities are on the chopping block, including two here in the North Country -- Mt. McGregor in Saratoga County and Chateaugay Correctional Facility.  Go to full article
Once a public school, the Lyon Mountain Correctional Facility operated from 1984 until 2011.  Now it's up for sale. Photo: New York state
Once a public school, the Lyon Mountain Correctional Facility operated from 1984 until 2011. Now it's up for sale. Photo: New York state

Want to buy a North Country prison? Bargain basement prices!

What happens to prisons and correctional facilities when there aren't enough inmates to fill the jail cells?

That's the dilemma facing nearly a dozen communities in upstate New York. After a massive prison construction boom that continued for nearly four decades, the state has seen its inmate population decline steadily in recent years. The change follows a sharp decline in crime rates and changes to sentencing guidelines that mean fewer nonviolent drug offenders spending years behind bars.

Now a state agency called Empire State Development is struggling to auction off eleven former prisons and juvenile justice centers, including two facilities now for sale here in the North Country.

But many rural communities fear that another economic engine is dying with nothing to replace it.  Go to full article
"Milk Not Jails" is the brain child of activist Lauren Melodia, who spent a year in Canton and Ogdensburg Photo: <a href="https://www.facebook.com/MilkNotJails?fref=ts">MNJ Facebook page</a>, used by permission
"Milk Not Jails" is the brain child of activist Lauren Melodia, who spent a year in Canton and Ogdensburg Photo: MNJ Facebook page, used by permission

What if NY invested more in dairy farms and less in prisons?

This week we've been looking at the fortunes of the North Country's dairy industry and some of the hurdles faced by farmers and processors.

Over the last few months, our Prison Time Media Project has also been looking at the way prisons shape communities and the local economy in the North Country.

There are more than a dozen state and Federal prisons in the region, along with eleven county jails. That makes corrections work one of our top employers.

One activist group based in Brooklyn thinks these two issues -- prison jobs and the dairy industry -- should be linked in people's minds, as we think about ways to grow the rural economy. That group's called "Milk Not Jails."  Go to full article
Fewer inmates have meant fewer prisons. It turns out Camp Gabriels was part of a slow but important national trend. Source: Save Camp Gabriels
Fewer inmates have meant fewer prisons. It turns out Camp Gabriels was part of a slow but important national trend. Source: Save Camp Gabriels

NY, US see dramatic drop in prison inmate population

New York state officials say the state's prison population is expected to drop again this year by nearly 800 inmates.

The Department of Corrections will close two more prisons this year, bringing to a total of nine the number of correctional facilities shut down since 2011.

Inmate populations in New York have been edging downward for more than a decade. But a report from the Justice Department suggests that for the first time in decades, fewer Americans nationwide are being sent to prison.

Surveys of state and Federal prisons nationwide show the number of inmates actually declined over the last three years - the first downward trend in a generation.  Go to full article

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