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News stories tagged with "prisontime"

NYCLU says this kind of solitary confinement cell is widely used in New York's prisons, including Upstate Correctional Facility in Malone. Source: NYCLU
NYCLU says this kind of solitary confinement cell is widely used in New York's prisons, including Upstate Correctional Facility in Malone. Source: NYCLU

NY will limit solitary confinement time for prison inmates

Last week, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo agreed to sweeping changes to the way state prisons use solitary confinement. The deal was prompted by a federal lawsuit filed by critics who say thousands of inmates, some of whom are pregnant or have mental illness, are being held for months and even years in isolation, often for minor infractions.

The deal will end the use of solitary confinement for the most vulnerable inmates, and will also mean strict limits on the length of time an inmate can be locked away.

The lawsuit focused in part on inmates housed at Upstate Correctional Facility in Malone, but will affect disciplinary procedures at a dozen state prisons across the North Country.  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
Glades Correctional Institution inmates reading in the prison library, Belle Glade, Florida, 1975. Photo: Tom McLendon.
Glades Correctional Institution inmates reading in the prison library, Belle Glade, Florida, 1975. Photo: Tom McLendon.

Prison college education is returning to New York

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has unveiled a new plan to bring college education back into New York prisons. Cuomo's new initiative will offer college level education at ten New York State prisons, one in each region of the state, though the prisons haven't yet been identified.  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

NY closing four prisons gradually over a year

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) New York's corrections chief says the latest prison closings have been taking place gradually following notifications last summer and shuttering half-empty facilities should save taxpayers $30 million.

Department of Corrections and Community Supervision Acting Commissioner Anthony Annucci, testifying before legislators Wednesday, says the state inmate total has dropped from 71,600 in 1999 to about 54,200 currently.  Go to full article
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
The village of Dannemora, NY and Clinton-Dannemora prison, one of the facilities that remains open here in the North Country. Photo: Natasha Haverty
The village of Dannemora, NY and Clinton-Dannemora prison, one of the facilities that remains open here in the North Country. Photo: Natasha Haverty

Cuomo cuts corrections budget, closes prisons

Cuomo still plans to close four prisons later this year, including two here in the North Country. In his speech yesterday the Governor also spoke about putting more resources into programs to help offenders return to society and stay in society.

This comes only a few weeks after Cuomo talked about rolling back the "madness" of mass incarceration in New York. The new budget reduces funding for the Department of Corrections by $8 million.  Go to full article

Reporters' Roundtable: What to look for in Cuomo's budget address

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is set to present a budget proposal this afternoon detailing how he will pay for a broad program of tax breaks while maintaining funding for schools, health care and infrastructure.

It's expected to top $136 billion.

Cuomo and state lawmakers will try to maintain their three-year streak of reaching a final budget deal by the start of the state fiscal year April 1.

The governor says his budget will usher in three years of projected surpluses -- if lawmakers hold spending growth below 2 percent.

The governor says that New York can provide tax relief and increase investments in education, health care and economic development, even with the spending cap.

Joining me this morning to give the budget a North Country context are David Sommerstein, Sarah Harris, and Brian Mann.  Go to full article

Watertown program helps keep people out of prison

In his state of the state address last week, Governor Andrew Cuomo called for more taxpayer dollars to be spent keeping people out of prison. Now the governor's office has unveiled a list of programs that will receive a first round of funding - roughly $5 million dollars in total.

Brian Mann has been following prison-related issues over the last year as part of our Prison Time Media Project.

This morning, Brian reports that one of the programs receiving new dollars from the state is the Urban Mission in Watertown, which helps people with drug and alcohol problems avoid serving time.  Go to full article
View from a subway platform in Bedford-Stuyvesant, one of the neighborhoods in New York city with the highest concentration of men and women admitted to prison. Photo: Natasha Haverty
View from a subway platform in Bedford-Stuyvesant, one of the neighborhoods in New York city with the highest concentration of men and women admitted to prison. Photo: Natasha Haverty

Cuomo: "reducing the madness of an incarceration society"

Cuomo also talked about the state of prisons in New York yesterday. And according to the Governor, there's good news, and there's bad news.  Go to full article

Vt. report: Impaired parolees need better services

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) A Vermont legislative committee says the state should add early intervention services for parolees with mental illness, substance abuse or other problems to help them stay out of trouble.

The draft report says the services should be considered a priority over the addition of any new residential facilities for this group of parolees.  Go to full article

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