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News stories tagged with "corrections"

<i>New York Times</i> journalist Adam Liptak. Source: <i>NY Times</i>
New York Times journalist Adam Liptak. Source: NY Times

North Country prisons part of the "American Exception"

Prisons are a significant part of the economy and of the cultural fabric of the North Country. Some families have been working as corrections officers for three generations. Some communities are known as prison towns. And in other parts of New York, our region is sometimes called "Little Siberia" because of its network of state and federal prisons. New York Times reporter Adam Liptak says those prisons are worth a second look. In a new series of articles called "The American Exception," he raises challenging questions about our society's prison policies. Liptak spoke about his reporting in-depth with Brian Mann.  Go to full article

Camp Gabriels closure prompts rally, debate

Union officials representing corrections officers at the Camp Gabriels prison in Franklin County say they'll hold a rally next Thursday in an effort to keep the facility open. Martha Foley has more.  Go to full article

Prisons to close in Franklin, Saratoga Counties

The Spitzer administration announced on Friday plans to close four New York prisons, including two in the North Country. Camp McGregor in Saratoga County and Camp Gabriels north of Saranac Lake, both minimum security facilities, are both slated to close in 2009. At least 130 jobs will be lost in Franklin County alone. As Brian Mann reports, local officials were shocked by the decision, which came with no advance notice.  Go to full article
Richard Stratton's Federal incarceration ID (Source: R. Stratton)
Richard Stratton's Federal incarceration ID (Source: R. Stratton)

The view from inside a North Country prison

Here in the North Country, we're surrounded by neighbors most of us never see. Thousands of prison inmates live invisibly in Malone, the Tri-Lakes, Dannemora, Ogdensburg and a half-dozen other towns. In the late 1980s, the novelist and filmmaker Richard Stratton spent more than a year at the Federal prison in Ray Brook, following his conviction for smuggling large quantities of marijuana. Stratton wrote about the experience for the latest issue of Adirondack Life magazine and he spoke with Brian Mann.  Go to full article

Broken Bus Strands Inmate Visitors

Dozens of women and children were stranded Sunday night at a rest stop on the Northway. They were visiting inmates at north country prisons. The chartered bus broke down Sunday evening and the family-members were left stranded until mid-day on Monday, when a replacemente bus picked them up. State police fed and cared for at least thirty-five people, most from New York City. The owners of the bus company couldn't be reached for comment. Brian Mann spoke Monday with Danielle from Astoria Queens, who declined to give her last name.  Go to full article

Journey North A Burden For Inmate Families

Hundreds of family-members make the pilgrimage north every weekend to visit incarcerated men. Jack Beck, with the Correctional Association of New York says it's a burden, especially for poor working families.  Go to full article

Heard up North: Tai Kwan Do, Bagpipes

Jeff Forsythe is an officer at Gouverneur Correctional Facility. And in his off-hours, well, he keeps busy...  Go to full article

Inmates, Families Boycott High Phone Rates

Today, inmates around New York State will pick up the phone to call their families - collect, as always. But this time, families will refuse to accept the charges. It's a one-day boycott to protest the high rates charged by the phone company MCI. MCI has had an exclusive contract to provide phone service for inmates since 1999. Rates for the prisoners' collect calls are more than six times higher than regular consumer rates. Inmates can only call collect, and the charges add up for families on the other end. Advocates say that these high rates threaten inmates' family ties - a crucial bulwark against recidivism. They're also critical of the contract deal. MCI gives over half the profits to the state. Advocates call that a kickback scheme. But the contract is set to expire at the end of March, and the State Senate appears set to make a change. Gregory Warner reports.  Go to full article

State Senate Wants Retirement Benefits for Blinded North Country Guardsman

A bill passed by the state Senate yesterday would offer extra retirement pay and health coverage to a North Country prison guard. Christopher Paiser was blinded by shrapnel last year while serving in Iraq with the National Guard. Brian Mann has details.  Go to full article

Keeping the Faith, Behind Bars

Adirondack Correctional Facility is in Ray Brook. It's unusual among New York State prisons that it has some sort of christian activity group meeting 7 days a week.

Greg Warner attended an evening bible study inside the prison. He spoke to about a dozen inmates there, who chaplain Eric Olsen calls "the elders" of the prison church. He says they do much of the missionary and organizational work to keep the church going.

Inmate Hector Cruz began the evening by reading aloud the prayers of other inmates. One inmate prayed for his mother's health, another for his court case.  Go to full article

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