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News stories tagged with "prisontime"

Homes in the village of Chateaugay. The prison there will close on July 26th. Photo: Natasha Haverty
Homes in the village of Chateaugay. The prison there will close on July 26th. Photo: Natasha Haverty

How prison closures could be a good thing for the North Country

This week we visited the town of Chateaugay, and heard from people there about what's it been like to lose their local prison.

Over the past year, the community fought to keep the Chateaugay Correctional Facility open, organizing rallies at home and with legislators in Albany, arguing that the state would be turning its back on Chateaugay if it went forward with its plans to mothball the prison.  Go to full article
Chateaugay Correctional Facility, now on the NYS surplus property list. Photo: Empire State Development Agency
Chateaugay Correctional Facility, now on the NYS surplus property list. Photo: Empire State Development Agency

How to close a North Country prison

A few weeks from today, New York state will close four more of its prisons, including two here in the North Country: Chateaugay Correctional Facility in Franklin County and Mt. McGregor in northern Saratoga County.

It's a controversial decision, deeply painful to many people in those communities.

But how do you actually close a prison?  Go to full article

SPJ Winner: Dying inmates in NY struggle to get home

This spring North Country Public Radio's news team has been honored with several 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 the year and a half has been looking in-depth at the growth of the prison industry here in our region, across New York and around the country.

Tonight in Washington DC, one pair of investigative reports from the Prison Time project will be honored by the Society of Professional Journalists. In her two-part series, Natasha Haverty looked at how the soaring numbers of men and women behind bars for low-level crimes over the past few decades have effected the life cycle--asking questions like, "what happens when a woman enters prison pregnant?" and "what systems are in place for when an inmate ages, or gets fatally ill?"

This morning, we'll revisit one of those reports, and learn how despite recent reforms to the system, many terminally ill inmates are forced to remain behind bars even when they no longer appear to be a threat to society. Even some prison officials think the process for allowing inmates to die at home needs fixing.  Go to full article

SPJ Winner: Dying inmates in NY struggle to get home

This spring North Country Public Radio's news team has been honored with several 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 the year and a half has been looking in-depth at the growth of the prison industry here in our region, across New York and around the country.

Tonight in Washington DC, one pair of investigative reports from the Prison Time project will be honored by the Society of Professional Journalists. In her two-part series, Natasha Haverty looked at how the soaring numbers of men and women behind bars for low-level crimes over the past few decades have effected the life cycle--asking questions like, "what happens when a woman enters prison pregnant?" and "what systems are in place for when an inmate ages, or gets fatally ill?"

This morning, we'll revisit one of those reports, and learn how despite recent reforms to the system, many terminally ill inmates are forced to remain behind bars even when they no longer appear to be a threat to society. Even some prison officials think the process for allowing inmates to die at home needs fixing.  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
Michael Powers, speaking at a rally in Albany to save the Ogdensburg Correctional Facility. Photo from Powers' website, used by permission
Michael Powers, speaking at a rally in Albany to save the Ogdensburg Correctional Facility. Photo from Powers' website, used by permission

North Country corrections officer could be next to lead the union

Next month, New York will close four more of its prisons. Among them: Chateaugay Correctional Facility in Franklin County and Mt. McGregor in Saratoga County. The closures come as part of Governor Cuomo's pledge to "reduce the madness of an incarceration society." And the Department of Corrections has reported empty beds in their prisons--they estimate the recent series of closures will save taxpayers $184 million.

The loudest voices fighting to keep those prisons open are members of New York's prison guard union--NYSCOPBA--which is set to elect their next president next month. One of frontrunners in the race to head up the union hails from the North Country.  Go to full article
District Attorney Derek Champagne from Franklin County says treatment, not more arrests, is the best strategy for the heroin crisis.  Photo: Brian Mann
District Attorney Derek Champagne from Franklin County says treatment, not more arrests, is the best strategy for the heroin crisis. Photo: Brian Mann

Heroin fight shifts from "war" to public health

This week, we're looking in-depth at the heroin epidemic that's hitting small towns in rural New York and Vermont (find more stories).

In many ways, the spread of cheap heroin in rural America mirrors the urban drug crisis of the 1970s that sparked America's national war on drugs.

But these days, even many police and prosecutors say they want a new approach, one that will send more addicts for treatment and recovery, with fewer men and women going to prison for lengthy sentences.  Go to full article
Shawn McKeen from Plattsburgh saw his life derailed, first by prescription drugs, then by street heroin.  Photo:  Brian Mann
Shawn McKeen from Plattsburgh saw his life derailed, first by prescription drugs, then by street heroin. Photo: Brian Mann

North Country heroin stuns small towns, wrecks lives

Over the last few years, Vermont has grappled with a growing heroin epidemic. The drug's painful reach into small towns has drawn national headlines. Now there's growing awareness that heroin has also arrived in the North Country. The drug is cheaper and easier to find.

At a public hearing held by a new state Senate task force, formed in March, addicts, treatment experts, police and prosecutors talked about a wave of heroin.  Go to full article
Donnie (in the foreground) and Didd on the bus leaving the North Country. Photo: Amy Finkel, for Gothamist, used with permission.
Donnie (in the foreground) and Didd on the bus leaving the North Country. Photo: Amy Finkel, for Gothamist, used with permission.

North Country inmates on the bus: free and nowhere to go

Every year, hundreds of men are shipped to prisons here in the North Country, to correctional facilities in Watertown or Malone, Moriah or Ray Brook. We've been telling the story of the region's prison industry with our Prison Time Media Project.
But every year, hundreds of men are also released back into society after serving their time in state or Federal lock-ups.

Often, former inmates are sent back downstate with little preparation and few resources for reentering society. Many begin their new lives with a bus ticket, a new set of clothes, and a small amount of cash.

Amy Finkel is a journalist and documentary filmmaker. She's working on a new project looking at reform and education programs in prisons and she recently published a photo essay in the online magazine Gothamist.

Her photos capture the bus journey that one group of men made from Saranac Lake after being released from prison back to New York City. She spoke about her work with Martha Foley.  Go to full article

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