Skip Navigation
on:

NCPR is supported by:

News stories tagged with "prison"

Brother Yusuf  Abdul-Wasi (R) and Joe Hackett (L) with moderator Russell Banks at an event hosted by John Brown Lives. Photo: Brian Mann
Brother Yusuf Abdul-Wasi (R) and Joe Hackett (L) with moderator Russell Banks at an event hosted by John Brown Lives. Photo: Brian Mann

A prison inmate, a corrections worker, a conversation

This week, our Prison Time Media Project is focusing in-depth on the the world of corrections here in the North Country.

There are more than a dozen state and Federal prisons in our region, from Cape Vincent to the town of Moreau. The industry is a pillar of the economy in many rural towns.

But those prisons are also a place where prison guards, civilian workers and inmates struggle every day to communicate, grappling with huge differences of race and class.

Two men -- a former inmate and a former corrections worker -- are working to bridge that divide by talking about their shared experience behind bars.  Go to full article
Camp Gabriels. Photo: Save Camp Gabriels
Camp Gabriels. Photo: Save Camp Gabriels

Camp Gabriels prison is sold to private buyer from Brooklyn

It appears that the former Camp Gabriels prison has been sold to a private buyer for just over $210,000.

The news was first reported yesterday by the Albany Times-Union. The highest bidder was named as Mohammad Ibrahim from Brooklyn.  Go to full article
George Prendes, outside the apartment he lived in before he went to prison, on 107th Street and Central Park West. Photo: Natasha Haverty
George Prendes, outside the apartment he lived in before he went to prison, on 107th Street and Central Park West. Photo: Natasha Haverty

Fifteen years behind bars under Rockefeller drug laws

Yesterday, the Prison Time Media Project took us 40 years back to the start of the war on drugs, and the controversial sentencing rules created by Governor Nelson Rockefeller. Those new laws sent tens of thousands of men and women to prison on long sentences for low-level drug crimes. George Prendes was one of those people.  Go to full article
Chateaugay Correctional Facility in Franklin County is among four slated for closure. Image: Google Maps
Chateaugay Correctional Facility in Franklin County is among four slated for closure. Image: Google Maps

Prison guard union smarting over closure announcement

Correction officers say they are still in "shock," that late on a July Friday, with very little advance warning, Governor Cuomo's prison agency announced the closure of four prisons within the next year. And they are asking the legislature to rescind the closures.  Go to full article
Lunchtime in the mess hall. Photo: Natasha Haverty
Lunchtime in the mess hall. Photo: Natasha Haverty

Alternatives to Incarceration: into Shock prison

This week as part of our Prison Time Media Project, producer Natasha Haverty is looking at some of the approaches cash-strapped states are taking to try and cut prison their populations.

Yesterday, we began the story of Jeff, a young man from western New York who fell into serious drug addiction and broke into a pharmacy to feed his habit. After spending years cycling through drug courts, unable to stay off drugs, he was sent to prison here in the North Country.

"It's very true to say that I as given a great opportunity at drug court and I failed. I failed at drug court. I failed. I'm going to prison, for years. That's the lowest of the low, that's the lowest I can think of before death."

But unlike many other inmates, Jeff was sent to a shock prison in Moriah, in Essex County, which focuses on life skills training and rehabilitation. Part two of our series takes us to Moriah Shock and finds Jeff at the middle of his prison sentence.  Go to full article
Jeff in class. Photo: Natasha Haverty
Jeff in class. Photo: Natasha Haverty

Alternatives to Incarceration: One man enters the system

When Governor Nelson Rockefeller pushed through his landmark drug laws in New York forty years ago, he argued that any alternatives to his new tough on crime zero tolerance approach had failed:

"I was on this kick of trying to get the addict off the street, into treatment. Now this was a beautiful concept, except it just didn't happen to relate to the realities because the pushers keep finding new people. And I have to say that as far as I am aware, there is no known, absolute cure for addiction."

But in recent years, those Rockefeller Drug Laws have gone through a series of reforms. These days, cash-strapped states like New York are struggling to reduce inmate populations so that they can close expensive prisons. Governor Andrew Cuomo plans to mothball two more correctional facilities downstate this year.

And reducing the number of people behind bars means experimenting with diversion programs for non-violent drug offenders: States are offering counseling programs, rehabilitation and therapy, and opening alternative, "drug courts." The goal is to battle drug addiction without incarceration.

This week, as part of our Prison Time Media Project, Natasha Haverty follows the journey of one man through a system that's trying to turn away from mass incarceration. Here's part one of her three-part series.  Go to full article
George Prendes, outside the apartment he lived in before he went to prison, on 107th Street and Central Park West.
George Prendes, outside the apartment he lived in before he went to prison, on 107th Street and Central Park West.

Fifteen years behind bars under Rockefeller drug laws

Imagine for a moment the dumbest thing you've ever done in your life. The worst mistake, the biggest lapse in judgment. Now imagine that that one blunder cost you fifteen years of your life.

This week, we're launching our Prison Time Media Project, exploring the legacy of the Rockefeller drug laws.

The controversial sentencing rules created by Governor Nelson Rockefeller 40 years ago sent tens of thousands of men and women to prison, with many serving 15 to 25 years behind bars.

George Prendes was one of those people.  Go to full article
Richard Stratton hopes to run for governor in 2014. Photo provided by Richard Stratton.
Richard Stratton hopes to run for governor in 2014. Photo provided by Richard Stratton.

Former "High Times" editor plans 2014 run for governor

A former editor of High Times magazine who once did federal prison time in the Adirondacks wants to run for governor in 2014.

Richard Stratton filed initial paperwork with the New York State Board of Elections earlier this month. He hopes to win the Republican line and take on Governor Andrew Cuomo.

An author, filmmaker and activist, Stratton says his time in prison has helped shape his views on prison reform and drug laws.  Go to full article

Malone prison singled out in report on "extreme isolation"

A report released this week by the New York Civil Liberties Union calls for major reforms to the state prison system that would reduce the number of inmates held in solitary confinement or isolation.

According to the study, roughly 8% of state prisoners are being held in special isolation cells. Roughly a third of those solitary confinement cells, known as "special housing units," are located here in the North Country.

Critics say the use of solitary confinement by prison guards has spiraled out of control.  Go to full article
NYCLU says this kind of solitary confinement cell is widely used in New York's prisons, including Upstate Correctional Facility in Malone (Source: NYCLU)
NYCLU says this kind of solitary confinement cell is widely used in New York's prisons, including Upstate Correctional Facility in Malone (Source: NYCLU)

Report blasts NY prisons for use of solitary confinement

The New York Civil Liberties Union says New York's prison system is using solitary confinement as a punishment far too often.

Last year, inmates in the state system were placed in "solitary" more than 13,000 times, according to a new study produced by the NYCLU.  Go to full article

« first  « previous 10  11-30 of 66  next 10 »  last »