Assemblyman Jones: Prison Closure Proposal Threatens North Country Communities

February 15, 2019

“The governor’s proposal to close three prisons in New York is cause for major concern. While no prisons have been specifically named, communities statewide will have to wait with bated breath to find out if a critical part of their economy will be shuttered.

“As a former correction officer, I know all too well the impact this could have. The North Country has been in this position several times before and we shouldn’t have to go through it yet again. In 2014, more than 100 jobs were lost when the Chateaugay Correctional Facility closed.[1] That’s more than 100 community members who were left scrambling to provide for their families. The site still stands vacant today. Closing prisons leaves communities with massive structures that are nearly impossible to repurpose or sell for redevelopment.

“Not to mention, the proposal puts correction officers’ safety at serious risk. As more prisons close and inmates are transferred, the remaining facilities become overcrowded, often with high-security inmates, putting the officers who work there in dangerous conditions.

“For the safety of my fellow correction officers and economic well-being of North Country communities I’ll fight tooth and nail to ensure that this does not impact the facilities within my district.”