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News stories tagged with "corrections"

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

$30 Million Essex Jail Set for APA Approval

The Adirondack Park Agency is expected to approve plans today for the new Essex County jail. A discussion at yesterday's APA session in Ray Brook passed without controversy. Construction of the long-delayed project is set to begin this spring. But as Chris Knight reports, the price tag could now top $30 million.  Go to full article

North Country Prisons to Lose 148 Jobs

The director of New York's state prisons says he'll move forward with a plan to cut the number of corrections officers. Commissioner Glenn Goord says nearly 150 jobs will be "down-sized" at three prisons in the north country. Brian Mann has details.  Go to full article

Lawmakers Challenge Pataki's Prison Plan

At a legislative budget hearing, State Prisons Commissioner Glen Goord defended a proposal by Governor Pataki's Administration to close three prisons. Karen DeWitt reports.  Go to full article

Counties to Offer Drug Treatment Programs

Governor Pataki defended the lack of progress in achieving reform of the Rockefeller Drug Laws, at an announcement to expand drug treatment programs to 17 counties and New York City. Karen DeWitt reports.  Go to full article

Prison Services Company Reaps Record Lobbying Fine

The New York State Lobbying Commission issued its largest fine ever against a prison services company for failing to file a truthful lobbying report and for giving free rides and gifts to some lawmakers. Karen Dewitt reports.  Go to full article

CSC Misreports Lobbying Expenses

The State Lobbying Commission took depositions Wednesday from officials of the Correctional Services Corporation. The commission is looking into whether the prison services company broke the state?s lobbying laws by giving free rides and other perks to some lawmakers. Karen Dewitt reports.  Go to full article

Study: Upstate Prisons Provide Little Economic Bounce

A new study released by the Sentencing Project, a Washington-based think tank, says prisons offer little long-term economic benefit to rural communities. The group analyzed income and unemployment data in 14 rural, upstate counties over 25 years. Their findings suggest that counties without prisons have actually done better economically than counties with prisons. Martha Foley talks with Mark Mauer, assistant director of the Sentencing Project and a co-author of the study.  Go to full article

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