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News stories tagged with "prison"

Dannemora prison construction in 1898.
Dannemora prison construction in 1898.

Adirondack Attic: an industry inside a prison

In the 19th century, iron mining was the main operation at the Dannemora Correctional Facility, with three main mines scattered within the structure's walls. The mines provided employment for the convicts and earned the region the nickname, "Little Siberia." Inmates also helped with prison construction and renovations. Coming up on the next Adirondack Attic, Andy Flynn and Adirondack Museum chief curator Laura Rice examine a photo taken during prison construction in the late 1800's.  Go to full article
Going home early?  Inmates like Hamedah Hasan could see their sentences shortened.  Photo:  ACLU
Going home early? Inmates like Hamedah Hasan could see their sentences shortened. Photo: ACLU

New drug sentencing laws could affect Federal inmates in North Country

Federal judges are beginning to review changes in sentencing guidelines that will shorten the sentences of thousands of men and women jailed on crack cocaine charges. The shift could affect inmates at the Federal prison in Ray Brook.

As Brian Mann reports, drug sentencing laws have been changing, based on concerns that crack laws unfairly targeted African Americans.  Go to full article
If somebody was homeless, theyre not going to be counted at all.

State Sen. Betty Little talks prisoners and redistricting

The battle over legislative redistricting in New York is heating up as lawmakers have begun the process of reshaping electoral districts following last year's census.

In a development that hits close to home in the North Country...a redistricting task force announced last week it would ignore a law requiring prison inmates to be counted at their last known address, raising the ire of some civil rights groups.

The law passed in 2010 when Democrats controlled both legislative houses and the governor's mansion. The measure has since been challenged in court by nine Republican state senators.

Betty Little is a plaintiff in that lawsuit. She spoke with Chris Morris.  Go to full article
[I'm] thrilled and certainly relieved for the people who have been worrying from day to day.

North Country spared prison closures

The North Country is breathing a sigh of relief today after Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that none of the state prisons slated for closure will be in our region.

State officials say a total of seven prisons will close over the next year under a downsizing plan released yesterday. The closures hit nearly every part of the state except the North Country, where correctional facilities are a crucial part of the economy.

Martha Foley has more.  Go to full article
I showed up dirty on a urine test, cocaine and marijuana. They're making me come back...for another drug test.

After Rockefeller reform, are drug addicts getting the treatment they need?

It's been over a year since New York implemented reforms of the Rockefeller Drug Laws.

The new rules divert many drug addicted felons from prison to treatment.

Reporter Charles Lane from public radio station WSHU has been following several of the people going through the new program.

He found that some of them are getting treatment in rigorous residential treatment facilities, and say the programs are harder than doing time in prison.

Editor's Note: Charles Lane has heard news that Joan D'Alessio turned herself in and is doing better. We'll bring you updates in the coming months on her as well as a look at the cost of the Rockefeller reforms.  Go to full article

Inmate fight sparks guard union complaints

The union that represents corrections officers and other workers at the Federal Correctional Institution in Ray Brook says prison officials didn't do enough to address a recent outbreak of what it described as "gang-related" violence at the medium-security facility. The American Federation of Government Employees and its Council of Prison Locals says prison officials mostly kept operations running normally, despite the violence. As Chris Knight reports, prison officials say they locked down the prison and handled the situation appropriately.  Go to full article
James Roche was denied judicial diversion. His judge is less likely than other judges to give treatment people who sell drugs.
James Roche was denied judicial diversion. His judge is less likely than other judges to give treatment people who sell drugs.

Rockefeller law reforms give some addicts a new chance, others get jail

Last year the New York State Legislature voted to give drug addicts a second chance, by doing away with the last remnants of the Rockefeller drug laws. Some considered the old laws draconian and reformers praised the change saying it could stop the addiction cycle by diverting addicts bound for prison and instead send them to treatment. For the last couple months, reporter Charles Lane has been investigating how this judicial diversion has been implemented so far across the state. And he finds that the impact of the reforms largely depends on which county the addict is convicted in. Photos and timeline courtesy of WSHU.  Go to full article
Roxana Saberi
Roxana Saberi

100 days in an Iranian prison

Roxana Saberi visited the St Lawrence University campus earlier this month. The Iranian-American reporter--who has filed stories from Iran for NPR and other news outlets--recently finished a book recounting her 100 days in Iran's infamous Evin Prison. According to Iranian authorities, she was arrested on suspicion of spying. In her book, Between Two Worlds, Saberi cites several sources that debunk the Iranian government's accusations against her. During her short stay in Canton, she sat down for a talk with AB5 host Jonathan Brown. He asked her to recount the events of January 31st, 2009. That's when Iranian intelligence officials came for her.  Go to full article

Prison guard union campaigns to keep North Country prisons open

The union representing New York State corrections officers launched what it calls an "aggressive" campaign yesterday designed to save three prisons in the North Country. The corrections facilities in Ogdensburg, Moriah and Lyon Mountain are on a list of four state prisons Governor David Paterson wants to close. He says this is needed to shrink the state's $8.2 billion deficit.

NYSCOPBA unveiled its new ad campaign targeting Paterson's cost-cutting plan. Donn Rowe, who heads the guard union, calls the budget "shortsighted." Speaking with Jonathan Brown, Rowe suggested state officials are painting an inaccurate picture of what's happening behind prison walls.  Go to full article
The iron mining days are over in Lyon Mountain
The iron mining days are over in Lyon Mountain

In Lyon Mountain, a rally to save three North Country prisons

More than 200 people rallied yesterday in the American Legion hall in Lyon Mountain. The Clinton County community is fighting to save its state prison, which anchors the local economy. Lyon Mountain Correctional Facility is one of three prisons in the North Country slated for closure next year. As Brian Mann reports, prison guards are hoping to form a united front across the region.

Assemblywoman Addie Russell from Theresa also sent a letter to Governor Paterson this week, urging him to keep the Ogdensburg Correctional Facility open. In her letter, she accused the state Department of Correctional Facility of using "false" claims to justify the closure. According to Russell, maximum security prisons in the state are still overcrowded and too many inmates are being "double-bunked." Russell also argued that Ogendesburg's economy "will be devastated" if the correctional facility closes.  Go to full article

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