Gov. Hochul wants to Close Down 5 of the 44 Prisons in New York
5 New York Prisons Could Be Closed
Governor Kathy Hochul's proposed fiscal budget for 2025 states that legislation may allow the state to do away with up to 5 of the remaining 44 prisons in New York. I'm no math expert, but that's over 10% of all prisons in New York - many of which can be found here in Upstate NY.
According to a report from Finger Lakes Daily News, the governor wants to include legislation that would allow the state to “act expeditiously to right-size and eliminate excess capacity by allowing for the closure of up to five correctional facilities with 90 days’ notice."
The source states that Hochul believes the change will "increase the operational efficiency of the state’s correctional system."
However, anytime our government expresses the want or need for monumental change, people are going to react.
One strong reaction against the proposed closing came from the New York State Correctional Officers & Police Benevolent Association (NYSCOPBA), the union representing correctional officers.
NYSCOBA believes that closing 5 prisons could be a detriment to the prisoners, the staff, and possibly the community. NYSCOBA claims that the amount of incarcerations is up, and so is the amount of attacks on prison guards, according to the report.
Not only does NYSCOBA want to keep all 44 prisons open, but they also want to hire more staff as well as provide salary upgrades and other financial incentives, according to the report.
Chris Summers, the President of NYSCOBA, stands firmly against the proposed legislation and had plenty to say about it in the report from Finger Lakes News Daily.
“As the violence increases and staffing levels plummet, mandatory overtime for correction officers and sergeants has spiked to record highs...Continuous mandates are straining members’ physical and mental health, their families, and their quality of life."
Summers went on to say that NYSCOBA employees are already burnt out and stressed, and in some cases, unable to keep themselves safe, let alone other staff members or even the prisoners.
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