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News stories tagged with "prisons"

Sabrina Jones translates the history and statistics of America's era of mass incarceration into a graphic, sometimes claustrophobic story. Image: Sabrina Jones
Sabrina Jones translates the history and statistics of America's era of mass incarceration into a graphic, sometimes claustrophobic story. Image: Sabrina Jones

A graphic account of America's love affair with prisons

One of the most complicated issues to talk about, here in the North Country and across the US, is our nation's massive prison system. America incarcerates far more individuals than any other nation on earth, far outstripping countries like China and Russia. It's a thorny topic that tangles up everything from race relations to small-town economies to our ideas about justice and drug addiction.

Sabrina Jones is a political artist who spends each summer in Saratoga County and she'll speak tonight at at 7:30 pm at Bluseed Studio in Saranac Lake. Jones uses comic books to capture the complicated, painful history of America's four-decade long era of mass incarceration.  Go to full article
Governor Nelson Rockefeller surprised his own staff with his dramatic shift on drug policy.
Governor Nelson Rockefeller surprised his own staff with his dramatic shift on drug policy.

Murrow Award: How Rockefeller drug laws changed America

This spring North Country Public Radio's news team has been honored with several major national awards for some of the work we've brought you over the past year. Much of that recognition has gone to our Prison Time Media Project, which over a year and a half has looked in-depth at the growth of the prison industry here in our region, across New York and around the country.

The series unfolded as the country was beginning to take another look at the way we think about crime, and justice, and these stories became part of that national conversation. The first story of the series has just received one of the top honors in journalism: a National Edward R. Murrow award.

In January of 1973, New York Gov. Nelson Rockefeller launched his campaign for what came to be known as the Rockefeller drug laws. Rockefeller demanded tough prison sentences, even for low-level drug dealers and addicts. It was an idea that quickly spread, influencing state and Federal law across the US.

In this first story, Brian Mann takes us back to the beginning, when New Yorkers were demanding solutions to a heroin epidemic that was scarring urban neighborhoods.  Go to full article

How the Prison Time Media Project was born

NCPR's Adirondack Bureau Chief Brian Mann is in Washington, DC for an awards ceremony tomorrow where reporting from NCPR's Prison Time Media Project will receive honors.

For more than a year Brian and Natasha Haverty have been digging deep into the culture of incarceration and fallout from the laws that launched the "war on drugs" back in the 1970s.

Brian talks with Todd Moe about how and why the project was started.  Go to full article
Brian Fischer led New York's corrections department for seven years from 2007 until 2013, a time when nine state prisons were mothballed.  Photo:  Brian Mann
Brian Fischer led New York's corrections department for seven years from 2007 until 2013, a time when nine state prisons were mothballed. Photo: Brian Mann

The man who led a revolution inside NY prisons

For decades, New York has maintained one of the largest -- and fastest growing -- prison systems in the country.

At its peak, more than seventy thousand men and women were held in state correctional facilities, many on lengthy mandatory drug sentences.

But over the last few years, the prison system has begun to shrink dramatically, with thirteen facilities closed or in the process of shutting down.

That quiet revolution was led in large part by former Corrections commissioner Brian Fischer, who stepped down last year after seven years in the post.  Go to full article
Governor Andrew Cuomo Photo:  Mark Kurtz
Governor Andrew Cuomo Photo: Mark Kurtz

Budget deal in Albany reshapes NY education, taxes

Governor Andrew Cuomo announced on Saturday that lawmakers in Albany have hammered out a deal that would mean major changes to education in New York.

The agreement would delay implementation of controversial new "common core" standards, while also adding funding for pre-K education.

The deal also aims to rein in property taxes, which Cuomo has described as the highest in the US.  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

Budget deal closes two North Country prisons

A budget deal worked out over the weekend appears to lock in plans to mothball two North Country prisons, including facilities in Chateuagay in Franklin County and Mt. McGregor in Saratoga County.

According to a report in the Auburn Citizen newspaper, a total of four prisons statewide will be closed in July.

Prison guards and local officials from the North Country rallied earlier this month in Albany, demanding that Governor Cuomo keep at least some of the correctional facilities open.  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
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

Camp Gabriels prison buyer hopes to open summer camp this year

A plan is in the works to turn Camp Gabriels, a former medium-security prison in the Adirondack town of Brighton, into a private group camp and retreat center.

The former prison in Franklin County has been closed since 2009. The state put the property up for auction in October; Adam Fine of New York City is in process of buying it. He reportedly wants to get it up and running as a summer camp this year.  Go to full article
Camp Gabriels, once the center of a fierce debate over prisons, closed its doors in 2009.  Source: Save Camp Gabriels
Camp Gabriels, once the center of a fierce debate over prisons, closed its doors in 2009. Source: Save Camp Gabriels

Former Camp Gabriels prison to become year-round camp

GABRIELS, N.Y. (AP) The prospective owner of a former medium-security prison in the Adirondacks plans to transform the property into a private group camp and retreat center.

The Adirondack Daily Enterprise reports that the $166,000 bid submitted in October by Adam Fine of New York City was the second-highest bid for Camp Gabriels. The highest bid, nearly $212,000, was submitted by a Brooklyn businessman who was unable to complete the transaction.  Go to full article
Rep. Chris Collins (R) NY-27. Photo: official portrait
Rep. Chris Collins (R) NY-27. Photo: official portrait

GOP Rep.: bar federal money for prison college

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) A Republican congressman from the Buffalo area says he will introduce legislation to prohibit the use of federal money to provide college courses for convicted criminals.

The promised legislation from U.S. Rep. Chris Collins comes days after Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo proposed a program to offer associate's and bachelor's degree education at 10 state prisons. Cuomo says it will reduce the likelihood of inmates returning to crime.  Go to full article

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