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News stories tagged with "prisons"

Corrections officer union faces off against Governor Paterson?s lay-offs

Governor Paterson and the public employee unions are playing a game of brinkmanship this week. Paterson is threatening to slash more than eight thousand state jobs if the unions don't offer concessions. More than 2,000 jobs at state prisons are on the chopping block. The state's biggest union, the Civil Service Employees Association, rejected an offer that would have meant smaller raises in exchange for a guarantee that no workers would be laid off for two years. CSEA spokesman Stephen Madarasz told the Associated Press that reopening the contract would set a "debilitating precedent." Brian Mann checked in with Don Rowe, head of NYSCOPBA, the union representing hundreds of corrections officers in the North Country.  Go to full article

Budget deal a mixed bag for Adirondacks

Details are still emerging, but it appears that the budget deal announced over the weekend in Albany eliminates a controversial plan to cap property tax payments on forest preserve land in the Adirondacks. Todd Moe has more.  Go to full article

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

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