Three New York State prisons could soon be closed as part of the 2019 New York State Budget. Governor Cuomo making those comments during a news conference on Friday, where he delivered an update on the budget due on April 1.
“We’ll close more prisons, I’ve closed 24 prisons, more prisons than any administration in the State of New York, and I’m proud of that. We’ll close up to three prisons, depending on the number of beds we need. But that’s another symbol of the reformation of the criminal justice system. Why can you close prisons, because you have more alternatives to incarceration, you’re locking up fewer people, which is a good thing. I understand the rationale in upstate New York, they don’t like to see a prison close, it means jobs and economic development. But I’m not going to rationalize locking up people as an economic development tool.”
~ Governor Andrew Cuomo
The locations of the prisons have not been released. The New York State Correctional Officers & Police Benevolent Association, Inc. issued the following statement after learning of the closures.
“The Governor and Legislature have seemingly done the impossible. They’ve made one of the most dangerous prison systems in the country even more dangerous for both incarcerated individuals and correctional officers. The stats don’t lie — prison violence is at an all-time high.
By consolidating the incarcerated into other facilities, prisons will be overpopulated and violence will only increase. This does nothing to reduce the prison population and improve prison conditions that certain Legislators and the Governor have been advocating for. If anything, it does the opposite. And the archaic and inhumane practice of double bunking has artificially created open beds, and open beds gives the Administration false justification.
On top of that, closing prisons will undoubtedly devastate two communities and with only 90 days’ notice, despite a law in place mandating one year’s notice. Jobs will be lost, the tax base will suffer and the local economy will be crushed — all because of the Governor and the Legislature.
And if the Administration says there will be no layoffs, we all know that statement is twisting the truth. These closures are going to force families to uproot and move across the state, and that’s not a choice that all will make. We demand that the Governor reveal the prisons that will be closed immediately.
Simply put, the Governor and the Legislature have unequivocally turned their backs on the men and women who keep order in our prisons. This is something we won’t soon forget.”
Stay with 18 News this weekend as we cover the 2019 New York State Budget.