Lyon Mountain, NY, May 02, 2013 — 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