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News stories tagged with "prisons"

Tower at Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora (Source:  Wikipedia)
Tower at Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora (Source: Wikipedia)

NY prisons "heavily reliant" on overtime work

A new report issued this week finds that overtime pay in New York's prison system continues to grow. Prisons are one of the biggest employers in the North Country.

The study by the state Comptroller's office found that the Department of Correctional Services spent more than $160 million on overtime last year.  Go to full article
Milk Not Jails' Lauren Melodia and her team want to convince New York to invest in farms, not prisons. Photo: David Sommerstein
Milk Not Jails' Lauren Melodia and her team want to convince New York to invest in farms, not prisons. Photo: David Sommerstein

What could replace the North Country's prison industry?

This week, our Prison Time Media Project is examining the North Country's vast complex of prisons. It's an industry from Cape Vincent to Chateaugay that employs thousands of people in a region with few other options.

Today we ask - what if? What if the crime rate continues to drop and the number of inmates locked up continues to fall? What if, as Governor Cuomo has advocated, New York keeps closing prisons, as it did in Lyon Mountain and Gabriels?

What's next for the North Country's prison towns?

One tiny not-for-profit from New York City has an idea. Take the money saved from shuttering prisons and spend that money on agriculture. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article
Community leaders meeting in Chateaugay to orchestrate fight to save the state correctional facility. Photo: Brian Mann
Community leaders meeting in Chateaugay to orchestrate fight to save the state correctional facility. Photo: Brian Mann

How prisons became the North Country's normal

This year, North Country Public Radio has been looking in-depth at New York's Rockefeller drug laws and how those laws reshaped our state over the last forty years.

This week, the series will focus on the North Country, which is home to more than a dozen state and federal prisons.

Corrections work has grown into one of the region's biggest and most controversial industries, providing thousands of high paying jobs, and anchoring the economies in towns from Malone to Moriah.

As part of our Prison Time Media Project, Brian Mann has a special report on how the North Country became a magnet for new prisons and how the industry is facing new scrutiny.  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

Old prisons could become homes for business start-ups

Some abandoned prisons in the upstate area could become home to start-up companies under the Cuomo administration's Start-Up New York initiative.  Go to full article
Franklin County legislator Billy Jones calls for action to stop the closure of Chateaugay Correctional Facility in his home town. Photo: Brian Mann
Franklin County legislator Billy Jones calls for action to stop the closure of Chateaugay Correctional Facility in his home town. Photo: Brian Mann

Another North Country town rallies to save its prison

This year, we're looking in-depth at the North Country's prison industry, how it grew into one of the region's top employers and how it's changing.

Over the weekend, hundreds of corrections officers, families, and elected officials gathered in Chateaugay in northern Franklin County.

They came to protest the latest round of state prison closures, now slated for 2014.

Four correctional facilities are on the chopping block, including two here in the North Country -- Mt. McGregor in Saratoga County and Chateaugay Correctional Facility.  Go to full article
Gov. Nelson Rockefeller: Photo: Yoichi R. Okamoto, White House Press Office
Gov. Nelson Rockefeller: Photo: Yoichi R. Okamoto, White House Press Office

How the Rockefeller drug laws changed America

This year, our Prison Time Media Project is spending the 40th anniversary of passage of the Rockefeller drug laws looking in-depth at how those tough-on-crime policies changed America.

The project began last January and in the months since, we've covered a lot of ground.

We've looked closely at the future of the North Country prison industry. We've asked how mass incarceration has affected women and families. We've probed the national debate over alleged abuse of solitary confinement.

As we hit the half-way mark, we thought it would be helpful to go back and revisit the first stories in the series, reports that laid the foundation for the Prison Time project.

In this piece, Brian Mann looks at the role played by New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller in changing the way America thinks about drugs, crime and justice.  Go to full article
Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Photo: Karen Dewitt
Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Photo: Karen Dewitt

Cuomo quietly pursues all kinds of consolidations

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo recently announced that he would close several more state prisons, using provisions of a law that allows him to by pass the legislature. It's part of a pattern of government consolidation that the governor has been quietly pursuing since he took office.  Go to full article
Prisons for sale. As two more prisons close down, there a dozen corrections and juvenile justice facilities in NY will be mothballed or up for sale. Photo: Brian Mann
Prisons for sale. As two more prisons close down, there a dozen corrections and juvenile justice facilities in NY will be mothballed or up for sale. Photo: Brian Mann

Act now! Clinton County prison just $140,000!

State officials have set a price tag on the mothballed prison in Clinton County and it looks like a bargain.

The Office of General Services says it will accept a minimum bid for the Lyon Mountain Correctional Facility of just $140,000.

That includes more than 27 acres of land and 23 buildings.  Go to full article
On the inside looking out. An image from the documentary film "The House I Live In." Photo: "The House I Live In," used by permission
On the inside looking out. An image from the documentary film "The House I Live In." Photo: "The House I Live In," used by permission

Why don't we talk more about North Country prisons?

Locking people up and keeping them behind bars is one of the North Country's biggest industries. There are more than twenty jails and prison facilities scattered across our rural region. Corrections and law enforcement agencies provide high-paying jobs from Ogdensburg to Glens Falls.

But the prison industry isn't something we talk about very often. The North Country's Regional Economic Development plan talks about renewable energy and trains and farms and government. But it doesn't even mention prisons -- not once.

Earlier this month, a student group at SUNY Plattsburgh invited community members, faculty and activists to meet and talk about mass incarceration and how it affects communities.  Go to full article
Chateaugay [Correctional facility closure] would not be included in the budget.

Breaking: Chateaugay prison closure "off the table" in budget deal

The state correctional facility in Chateaugay won't be closed under a budget deal being finalized in Albany.

That's according to Dan Macentee, spokesman for state Senator Betty Little.

According to Macentee, Little was told late Tuesday that "Chateaugay [closure] would not be included in the budget."

"The Democrat's proposal" to mothball the facility and spare a downstate prison "has caused a lot of concern in the community," Macentee added.

"I can understand the angst in the community."  Go to full article

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