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Senator Saland Announces Passage Of Bill Providing Notice On Prison Closures

 

Senator Steve Saland (R,I,C Poughkeepsie) today announced passage of Senate Bill 7467 which would require the Commissioner of the Department of Correctional Services to provide at least 24 months notice prior to a correctional facility's closure, to certain local governments, the affected employees and the employee labor organizations. Saland is a prime sponsor of the bill.

Current law provides for 12 months notice before the closure of a correctional facility and the preparation of an adaptive reuse plan six months prior to the closure. This bill would extend the prior notice provision to 24 months and require the adaptive reuse plan to be ready at the time of notice.

“The proposed closure of the Hudson Correctional Facility in early 2008 was a devastating blow to the people of the City of Hudson and the entire area,” said Senator Saland. While I am extremely pleased Governor Paterson agreed with the facts and figures I presented to him demonstrating that the closure was ill-advised, the proposed closure highlighted the shortcomings in the existing law regarding proposed facility closures. Twelve months is simply not enough time for the employees of a correctional facility to deal with the impact of closure on their livelihoods and their families and certainly not enough notice for the community to deal with the economic loss. If a correctional facility must be closed, this bill would provide more notice so the employees and the community. As importantly, this bill would ensure a reuse plan not six months after the closure, but at the time of notice.”

The bill has been sent to the Assembly for consideration.