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News stories tagged with "prisons"

Rockefeller reform adds new pressure to North Country prison industry

If the state Senate does vote to reform the Rockefeller drug laws this year, it would cut dramatically the number of inmates behind bars in New York. But state Senator Betty Little is still fighting to save Camp Gabriels, a prison camp near Saranac Lake that employs more than a hundred people. Martha Foley has more.  Go to full article

Prison advocates say education will cut crime

While much of the debate over prisons in Albany centers on the Rockefeller drug laws, inmate advocates are also hoping to revive education behind bars. The Correctional Association of New York, an inmate advocacy group, released its own report last week. The Association argues that offering prisoners access to college programs will cut dramatically the number of men and women who return to a life of crime after their release. Brian Mann spoke with Robert Gangi, executive director of the Correctional Association, who says education used to be a key part of prison life.  Go to full article
JW Wiley, Bob Grady & Mark Barie (Photo:  Brian Mann)
JW Wiley, Bob Grady & Mark Barie (Photo: Brian Mann)

Debating race in the era of Barack Obama

Yesterday, we reported on the dozens of North Country families that are traveling to Washington DC for the inauguration of President-elect Barack Obama. But there's a debate underway over what Obama's victory means. Are we a post-racial society now that we have our first black president? What does it mean that blacks and whites still lead very different lives in this country? On Tuesday, that conversation spilled over into a surprising venue: a Rotary club luncheon in Plattsburgh. As Brian Mann reports, two prominent civic leaders wrestled for an hour with some of the thorniest and most controversial issues in our society.  Go to full article
The "Drop the Rock" campaign seeks repeal of harsh Rockefeller-era drug laws
The "Drop the Rock" campaign seeks repeal of harsh Rockefeller-era drug laws

Story 2.0: Governor Paterson wants to change the Rockefeller drug laws

The governor's State of the State Address this week triggers our latest installment of Story 2.0. It's a new series, revisiting stories that North Country Public Radio has covered in the past. Martha Foley and Brian Mann revisit New York's Rockefeller-era drug sentencing policies, and how coming change may impact the prison system.  Go to full article

Governor plans 1,300 job cuts in state prison system

Governor Paterson want to cut more than 1,300 jobs from the state prison system over the next year. That includes corrections officers and civilian workers. The massive downsizing plan would mothball inmate work camps and prison farms across the North Country, including Camp Gabriels north of Saranac Lake, Mount McGregor in Saratoga County, and part of Clinton Correctional in Dannemora. The Governor also wants to use parole and alternative-sentencing programs to shrink the number of inmates behind bars. Brian Mann reports has details.  Go to full article
Staff Sgt. David Beaudin, wife Shannon, and their children Tanner and Jenarae
Staff Sgt. David Beaudin, wife Shannon, and their children Tanner and Jenarae

Soldiers home from Afghanistan, job done and new challenges ahead

More than a hundred soldiers with New York's National Guard came home to the North Country yesterday, arriving in buses at armories in Gloversville and Morrisonville. The homecoming follows a year-long deployment in Afghanistan. The men served in the southern region of the war-torn country, at a time when fighting there was intensifying. As Brian Mann reports, for many of these soldiers this was a second or even a third deployment.  Go to full article

Leaders scheme to keep prison open

Local leaders working keep the Camp Gabriels prison viable are pushing proposals to add educational opportunities and expand addiction treatment at the prison. The state corrections commissioner was on site to hear how the minimum security prison could tap into community resources. Jacob Resneck reports.  Go to full article
<i>New York Times</i> journalist Adam Liptak. Source: <i>NY Times</i>
New York Times journalist Adam Liptak. Source: NY Times

North Country prisons part of the "American Exception"

Prisons are a significant part of the economy and of the cultural fabric of the North Country. Some families have been working as corrections officers for three generations. Some communities are known as prison towns. And in other parts of New York, our region is sometimes called "Little Siberia" because of its network of state and federal prisons. New York Times reporter Adam Liptak says those prisons are worth a second look. In a new series of articles called "The American Exception," he raises challenging questions about our society's prison policies. Liptak spoke about his reporting in-depth with Brian Mann.  Go to full article

As NY prison populations shrink, job worries hit the North Country

Prison populations are booming across the United States, with one notable exception: Here in New York State the number of inmates has dropped each year since 1999, thanks in large part to a huge drop in the number of low-level offenders behind bars. Those empty jail beds have even led Governor Spitzer to push for the closure of four prisons -- including Camp Gabriels near Saranac Lake. NPR's Robert Smith and our own Brian Mann produced a two-part special report on the trend. First, Robert Smith looks at where all those prisoners went.  Go to full article

People, politicians rally to save Camp Gabriels

A crowd of more than 250 people gathered at the Harrietstown Town Hall in Saranac Lake Thursday for a rally to save Camp Gabriels. The minimum security facility is among four the Spitzer administration plans to close by early next year. As Chris Knight reports, the group plans to challenge that decision with a grassroots campaign.  Go to full article

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