NOTE: This article has been updated to include a statement from the New York State Department of Correction and Community Services. The original audio has been removed.
Republican New York state lawmakers gathered with union members outside the Mt. McGregor Correctional Facility in Saratoga County Wednesday to announce legislation to halt the closure of prisons throughout the state.
Governor Cuomo recently announced that he would close several more state prisons, using provisions of a law that allows him to bypass the legislature. It’s part of a pattern of government consolidation that the governor has been quietly pursuing since he took office.
Correction officers say they are still in “shock” that late on a July Friday, with very little advance warning, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s prison agency announced the closure of four prisons within the next year. And they are asking the legislature to rescind the closures.
In Governor Andrew Cuomo’s proposed 2013-2014 budget, he recommends closing two prisons in New York. One is in Dutchess County. Governor Cuomo proposed closing two of the least efficient prison facilities in the state. One is Bayview in Manhattan. The other is the Beacon Correctional Facility, a female, minimum-security prison, which he says has a 53-percent vacancy rate.
He said closing the two facilities will impact 273 positions, all of which can be absorbed in the current system.