State corrections officers have ally in opposition to prison closures

Originally published in Mid Hudson News on .
Prison watchtower, MHNN file photo

The New York State Correctional Officers & Police Benevolent Association (NYSCOPBA) has denounced the state’s plans to close additional correctional facilities in the upcoming budget cycle.

The union said the proposed closure of up to five facilities comes at a time of increased violence that requires higher staffing rations and lower inmate density.

The officers have an ally in State Senator James Skoufis (D, Cornwall).

“In my opinion, we should be doing the exact opposite of making it more difficult to do their job, which these closures would do and pay them better and make sure that we retain and we respect the workforce that is there, and importantly we hire additional correctional officers,” he said. “They are understaffed, which has made these facilities more dangerous for everyone who works and serves time at them.”

In the last round of prison closures, Downstate Correctional Facility in Fishkill, one of the newer facilities, was shuttered by the governor.