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News stories tagged with "corrections"

Senator Little
Senator Little

Sen. Little: State budget politically motivated, but praise for Gov. Paterson

State Senator Betty Little says the budget chaos in Albany has been brutal for the North Country - with more spending for more programs shifting to communities downstate.

But she gave Governor David Paterson high marks for promising to veto additional deficit spending proposed by Democrats in the legislature.

Senator Little spoke yesterday with Brian Mann.  Go to full article

Latest budget bill would save prisons in Ogdensburg and Moriah

New York's state Senate is expected to vote on Gov. David Paterson's latest budget bill today. It includes controversial revenue-raiser: an increase in the sales tax on cigarettes and other tobacco products that would make New York's tax rate the highest in the country, and action to collect taxes on Native cigarette sales (see related story). State Budget Director Robert Megna expects the bill to pass, despite the failure of earlier proposals to tax Native cigarette sales.
That would be a relief to two North Country communities -- it would save the Ogdensburg Correctional facility, and the Moriah Shock Camp, saving hundreds of jobs in the North Country. Martha Foley has more.  Go to full article

NC prisons' fate could hang on Paterson budget extender

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver says there's progress on the state budget. Silver said his house plans to pass the public safety, transportation and economic development portions of the budget today.
Silver says he's not fazed by the governor's new ultimatum, to pass a budget by June 28th or be forced to vote on approve Paterson's spending plan in emergency spending bill. And he says he thinks some kind of accord on a full budget can be reached soon, perhaps by Monday or Tuesday.

The North Country's bipartisan legislative team is especially worried about the emergency bill expected from Paterson today. "Public safety" includes prisons, including North Country prison the governor has said he wants to close. Martha Foley has more.  Go to full article

Comptroller probes "widespread" corruption in state Corrections Department

Investigators say a New York prison official skipped Friday work shifts for 17 years and fraudulently collected pay for the time off. A report released yesterday says Howard Dean, now retired as director of the food processing center at the Oneida Correctional Facility in Rome, filed bogus time sheets and travel documents that cost taxpayers $500,000. Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli and Inspector General Joseph Fisch also say prison management looked the other way. Mary Foley has more.  Go to full article

Two thousand rally to save the Ogdensburg prison

Some 2,000 people flooded the street outside city hall in Ogdensburg Friday to rally to save the state prison. Governor Paterson wants to close Ogdensburg Correctional Facility, Lyon Mountain, and Moriah Shock to help close New York's $9 billion budget gap. 287 people would lose jobs in Ogdensburg, eliminating millions of dollars from the local economy. Martha Foley has more.  Go to full article

Commentary: envisioning a new direction for Moriah

The state corrections officer union says it will launch an "aggressive" campaign today designed to save three prisons in the North Country. The effort will include an ad campaign and a series of rallies targeting the Paterson administration plan to close the prisons as part of its effort to close the state budget deficit.

Donn Row, who heads the guard union, says the planned closures in Moriah, Lyon Mountain and Ogdensburg will hurt public safety and cost jobs. The governor's plan to close the three prisons sent waves of anger and anxiety through the local communities. Local and state officials have vowed to do their best to keep the facilities open.

Commentator Martha Swan is a teacher and a social justice activist. She lives in Westport, not far from the Moriah shock camp. She thinks it is time for the community to take another direction.  Go to full article
The iron mining days are over in Lyon Mountain
The iron mining days are over in Lyon Mountain

In Lyon Mountain, a rally to save three North Country prisons

More than 200 people rallied yesterday in the American Legion hall in Lyon Mountain. The Clinton County community is fighting to save its state prison, which anchors the local economy. Lyon Mountain Correctional Facility is one of three prisons in the North Country slated for closure next year. As Brian Mann reports, prison guards are hoping to form a united front across the region.

Assemblywoman Addie Russell from Theresa also sent a letter to Governor Paterson this week, urging him to keep the Ogdensburg Correctional Facility open. In her letter, she accused the state Department of Correctional Facility of using "false" claims to justify the closure. According to Russell, maximum security prisons in the state are still overcrowded and too many inmates are being "double-bunked." Russell also argued that Ogendesburg's economy "will be devastated" if the correctional facility closes.  Go to full article

Does the town of Moriah have a future after the prison industry?

People plan to rally Thursday afternoon at 4:30 in Port Henry, at the Knights of Columbus Hall, in support of Moriah Shock. Governor David Paterson has slated the prison for closure as part of his statewide budget-cutting plan. Moriah town supervisor Tom Scozzafava says closing the camp will cripple his town's economy and end one of the most innovative programs in the state's prison system.  Go to full article

Story 2.0: A fresh start at Moriah Shock

Even many prison reform advocates, who want fewer New Yorkers sent to prison, say the state's so-called "shock" program offers alternatives that can benefit low-level, non-violent criminals. Inmates from Moriah Shock have long served useful roles in the region as well, helping forest rangers battle wild fires in the Adirondacks. Over the weekend, they were among the volunteers building the ice palace for Saranac Lake's Winter Carnival. A decade ago, Brian Mann spent a day behind bars at Moriah Shock, attending a graduation, talking with the inmates and their families.  Go to full article

Budget would cut 3 North Country prisons, nearly 500 jobs

For the North Country, the biggest blow contained in the Governor's budget proposal is the planned closure of three of the region's prisons. Governor Paterson wants to mothball correctional facilities in Ogdensburg, Lyon Mountain, and Moriah putting nearly 500 high paying jobs on the line. State Senators Darrel Aubertine and Betty Little said they would join the effort to save the prisons. As Brian Mann reports, today's proposal came as a terrible shock in communities already facing hard times.  Go to full article

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