Hawley: Prison closings ‘disrespectful’ to employees, communities

Posted 9 November 2021 at 3:59 pm

Press Release, Assemblyman Steve Hawley

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) is expressing deep concern after yesterday’s sudden announcement six prisons throughout the state would be ordered to close.

The New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision (DOCCS) announced six of their facilities will close on March 10, 2022.

The closures announced were Ogdensburg Correctional Facility, Moriah Shock Incarceration Correctional Facility, Southport Correctional Facility, Downstate Correctional Facility, Rochester Correctional Facility and Willard Drug Treatment Campus.

“The sudden announcement of prison closures throughout the state was disrespectful both to employees, who will now have mere months to either relocate or find new jobs, as well as the local governments and communities who will have to quickly plan for the consequences of these closures,” said Hawley. “With all that our corrections professionals have endured in recent times, including an increase in violent incidents against them in the midst of a pandemic, they deserve better than to have their lives, careers and communities upended so abruptly.”

While dismayed by the news of prison closures, Hawley was glad to see a bill he sponsored signed into law which prohibits the practice of “double-bunking” in prisons. Hawley supported the legislation in order to protect the welfare of corrections officers, prison staff and those incarcerated.

“Double-bunking has jeopardized the well-being of corrections professionals and inmates alike, along with the ability of prison staff to effectively supervise the activities of prisoners,” Hawley said. “My hope is that banning this practice will aid in reversing the ongoing trend of rising prison violence throughout the state and ensure safer conditions for all.”