Red Creek- Senator Nozzolio announced today that the New York State Department of Corrections has withdrawn its earlier decision to close the Butler Minimum Security Prison by October 1st of this year. The Butler Correctional Facility is one of seven Upstate prisons that were slated to close next month. Upon the announcement of the closings in April of this year, Senator Nozzolio immediately contacted Brian Fischer, Commissioner of the Department of Corrections, to protest these actions.
Under current law, which Senator Nozzolio sponsored and enacted, the New York State Department of Corrections must give 12 month notification in order to close a correctional facility. The actions by the Department of Corrections in closing the Butler Correctional Facility was in direct violation of Senator Nozzolio’s legislation.
“Today’s announcement is an important victory for the correction officers who work at the Butler Facility and who bravely put their lives on the line to protect us from violent criminals,” said Senator Nozzolio, “Under the State’s plans announced earlier this summer, neither the community nor the employees were provided with the required 12 month notification as required by law and this injustice has finally been rectified.”
In April of this year, Senator Nozzolio also called upon the Attorney General, the Office of the Comptroller and the Department of Corrections to thoroughly reexamine the decision to close the Butler facility.
The decision to allow the facility to remain open until the proper notification and review process can take place, reaffirms Senator Nozzolio's belief that the decision to close Butler Minimum was not done in accordance with New York State law. Senator Nozzolio said, “This court decision demonstrates that neither Governor Paterson, nor the legislators that supported this plan, are above the law. Our correctional employees shall not be used as pawns to close the gap on the massive spending spree that occurred in the latest New York State budget.”
Senator Nozzolio has been highly critical of Governor Paterson and the Department of Corrections for their earlier decision to close the Butler Minimum Security Facility without complying with the law. In the last eight months, 850 frontline correctional employees have had their jobs eliminated while at the same time the Department of Corrections has hired over 35 new deputy superintendents. This becomes a dangerous policy. Over 5,000 criminals have been released back into our communities, making our streets and neighborhoods more dangerous.
“These policies threaten public safety,” said Senator Nozzolio, “Today’s decision an important step in ensuring the safety of our officers and ensuring that the laws of New York are fully abided by.”