North Country lawmaker will “fight tooth and nail” to keep prisons open

Local News

Governor Andrew Cuomo plans to close up to three more prisons following what he calls record declines in incarceration rates.

He did not say which prisons will be affected, the Department of Corrections and Community Supervision will make that decision.

“In my first State of the State address eight years ago, I said prisons are not a jobs program. Since then, I am proud to have closed more prisons than any governor in history and at the same time proved that New York can remain the safest large state in the nation. But we must do more.  These new closures are another step toward reversing the era of mass incarceration and recognizing that there are more effective alternatives to lengthy imprisonment,” Gov. Cuomo said in a news release.

Cuomo has closed 24 prisons and juvenile detention centers, including the Chateaugay Correctional Facility in 2014 which lead to more than 100 job cuts.  But Assemblyman Billy Jones, a former corrections officer himself, said this is cause for major concern.

“The North Country has been in this position several times before and we shouldn’t have to go through it yet again. Closing prisons leaves communities with massive structures that are nearly impossible to repurpose or sell for redevelopment.  I’ll fight tooth and nail to ensure that this does not impact the facilities within my district,” Jones said.

The affected facilities will close, no later than September 1, 2019.

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