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News stories tagged with "prison"

Governor Andrew Cuomo has pursued an aggressive prison reform agenda in his first term. NCPR File photo: Mark Kurtz
Governor Andrew Cuomo has pursued an aggressive prison reform agenda in his first term. NCPR File photo: Mark Kurtz

Cuomo: "We must raise the age" juveniles are tried as adults

Gov. Andrew Cuomo yesterday named a new commission to look at whether teenagers should be tried in adult courts in New York. Last year, more than 30,000 16- and 17-year-olds were tried in adult courts in New York.  Go to full article
Chateaugay Correctional Facility, source of 110 jobs in northern Franklin County, is slated to close in July.  File photo.  Brian Mann
Chateaugay Correctional Facility, source of 110 jobs in northern Franklin County, is slated to close in July. File photo. Brian Mann

Chateaugay prison closure will hurt local business, town supervisor says

The town of Chateaugay in northern Franklin County is still reeling from news that their local correctional facility will close in July of this year. That news was confirmed last week in the budget deal hammered out in Albany.

Don Bilow, Chateaugay town supervisor, says the prison closure will hurt the community's wider business community.  Go to full article
Aaron Hinton, outside his building in Brownsville, Brooklyn. He calls the war on drugs "the war on the poor." Photo: Natasha Haverty
Aaron Hinton, outside his building in Brownsville, Brooklyn. He calls the war on drugs "the war on the poor." Photo: Natasha Haverty

What if 10 percent of your neighbors went to prison downstate?

The North Country has more than a dozen state and federal prisons, housing thousands of inmates. It turns out a lot of those inmates come from just a few neighborhoods, and those have been at the center of the 40-year drug war. Today, Brownsville, Brooklyn has one of the highest concentrations of incarcerated or formerly incarcerated people in the country.  Go to full article

NYC jail boss details heating problems after death

NEW YORK (AP) The head of New York City's jail system says that a malfunctioning damper diverted heat to the upper-level cell where a mentally ill veteran was found dead last month.

Acting Department of Correction Commissioner Mark Cranston told a City Council committee Thursday that a gauge on the lower-level tier didn't register the high temperature on the upper level.  Go to full article
A housing unit at Camp Gabriels. Photo: Chris Knight, courtesy Adirondack Daily Enterprise
A housing unit at Camp Gabriels. Photo: Chris Knight, courtesy Adirondack Daily Enterprise

Public will see plans for the new Camp Gabriels next week

The public will get its first look next week at the plan to convert a now shuttered state prison near Paul Smiths into a summer camp and year-round educational retreat.

A pair of downstate men are in the process of purchasing Camp Gabriels, which the state closed in 2009. The state approved the sale of the property just last week.  Go to full article
Five Omar Mualimm-ak, speaking at St. Lawrence University earlier this month. Photo: Tzintzun Aguilar
Five Omar Mualimm-ak, speaking at St. Lawrence University earlier this month. Photo: Tzintzun Aguilar

Five Mualimm-ak: A voice out of solitary confinement

Last month, the state of New York made sweeping changes to its use of solitary confinement. The new policy, signed by a federal judge, prohibits anyone under the age of 18, women who are pregnant, and people with severe mental illness, from being locked away in solitary.

Five Mualimm-ak helped write the new protocol. He's a prison reform activist. Mualimm-ak spent five years of his life in solitary confinement, out of 12 years he served inside New York prisons on charges that were later overturned. He was in Canton last week for talks and events at St. Lawrence University, and sat down with Martha Foley.  Go to full article
This inmate drawing on a prison envelope is part of the "Cellblock Visions" exhibit on display at SLU's Brush Art Gallery through mid-April. Photo courtesy Phyllis Kornfeld
This inmate drawing on a prison envelope is part of the "Cellblock Visions" exhibit on display at SLU's Brush Art Gallery through mid-April. Photo courtesy Phyllis Kornfeld

In Canton, "Cellblock Visions" shows off prison inmates' art

There's an alternative art world flourishing in American prisons. "Cellblock Visions," an exhibit at the Brush Art Gallery at St. Lawrence University this spring, features artwork by inmates from county jails to death row. Curator Phyllis Kornfeld, who has taught art courses in the prison system for more than 30 years, will give a lecture on the exhibit in Griffiths Arts Center, room 123, Tuesday at 7pm.

Todd Moe spoke with Kornfeld, who began her career teaching art in prisons in Oklahoma in 1983 (hear that interview by clicking "listen" above, or read the transcription below.) Today, she works at prisons in Massachusetts. She says even after 30 years, she finds the art created behind bars to be "fresh and amazing". Kornfeld says men and women inmates, having no previous training, turn to art for a sense of self-respect, respect for others and a way to find peace.

View pictures from the exhibit below.  Go to full article
Five Omar Mualimmak spent nearly five years in a solitary confinement cell. Photo: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/m_at/8566414982/">Matthew Thompson</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved
Five Omar Mualimmak spent nearly five years in a solitary confinement cell. Photo: Matthew Thompson, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Prison reform advocate will speak in Canton tonight

St. Lawrence University is hosting a series of events this month aimed at opening up a public conversation about the prison system.

Last night was the first: Five Omar Mualimmak spoke to a lecture hall full of students and community members, about his near five years in solitary confinement, on charges that were later overturned. He also talked about his work to reform the system, and the art he created in prison.  Go to full article
Inside the Capitol. Photo: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/stgermh/">Holley St. Germain</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved
Inside the Capitol. Photo: Holley St. Germain, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

No consensus on prison college plan in Assembly

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo's proposed plan to fund college education for prison inmates doesn't have a consensus in the state Assembly, Speaker Sheldon Silver said Tuesday.

"It's always good to look at reducing recidivism," said Silver, who said he personally supports the governor's proposal. "Many of our members support this, and there are others who have expressed reservations."

The Speaker says he'll discuss the issue in a closed-door party conference in the coming weeks.  Go to full article
Gov. Cuomo taking questions from reporters, February, 2014. NCPR File Photo: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/governorandrewcuomo/12721921383/">Gov. Cuomo's office</a>, via Flickr
Gov. Cuomo taking questions from reporters, February, 2014. NCPR File Photo: Gov. Cuomo's office, via Flickr

Cuomo's prison college plan sparks bipartisan backlash

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has made prison reform a centerpiece of his first term, closing prisons, calling for changes to sentencing laws for sixteen- and seventeen-year olds, and cutting the use of solitary confinement. But his latest proposal, a plan to use taxpayer dollars to fund college education behind bars, has sparked a bipartisan backlash.

Cuomo says the idea will save money over time, but many lawmakers say it's unfair to law-abiding citizens who struggle to send their kids to college.  Go to full article

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