FOR RELEASE: Thursday, June 30, 2011

NEWS
AFL-CIO

New York State Public Employees Federation

Contact: Darcy Wells 518-785-1900, ext. 277 518-859-1274 email: dwells@pef.org

“The closings of these facilities not only will force “double bunking,” which puts two dangerous criminals in a space designed for one, it will greatly reduce the “step-down” treatment of inmates. “The minimum and medium-security facilities targeted for closing, should be more widely used to better transition inmates out of maximum-security facilities and into our communities,” Brynien said.

The announcement includes the closing of four minimum-security facilities for men: Buffalo Work Release in Erie County, Camp Georgetown in Madison County, Summit Shock in Schoharie County and Fulton Work Release in Bronx County. Three medium-security facilities for men also will close: Arthur Kill in Richmond County, Mid-Orange in Orange County and Oneida in Oneida County.

“Inmate-on-inmate assaults, inmate-on-staff assaults, inmate suicides and contraband all increased from 2009 to 2010,” said PEF President Ken Brynien. “Inmate-on-inmate assaults were up more than 12 percent and inmate suicides doubled.”

Albany - The governor announced today he is closing seven state prisons. The closings come at a time when staff reductions and crowded conditions have resulted in an increase in violence at these facilities.

PEF statement on prison closings

PEF represents the professional staff at state prison facilities, including correctional counselors, doctors, nurses, psychologists, psychiatrists, chaplains and teachers among others.

The governor included prison closings in the state budget, but did not reveal until now which facilities would close. The lack of adequate notice prevented any opportunity for debate over the impact the closings would have on the inmates, the communities and the employees.

PEF is the state’s second-largest state-employee union, representing 56,000 professional, scientific and technical employees including approximately 4,500 members at the state Department of Correctional Services. ###

P.O. Box 12414 Albany, NY 12212-2414 Affiliated With American Federation Of Teachers, AFL-CIO and Service Employees International Union

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