Supporters hold 'Saving Monterey Shock Rally' in Elmira, continue to urge Cuomo administration to change course

Thomas F. O'Mara

October 28, 2013

Elmira, N.Y.-- More than 200 supporters of keeping open the Monterey Shock Incarceration Correctional Facility turned out on Saturday for a "Saving Monterey Shock Rally" at the National Soaring Museum.

In late July the administration of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo unveiled a plan to shut down the Monterey facility in Schuyler County next year.

State Senator Tom O’Mara (R,C-Big Flats), Assemblyman Phil Palmesano (R,C,I-Corning), Assemblyman Chris Friend (R,C,I-Big Flats) and other Monterey supporters helped organize Saturday's rally and continue to join local leaders, Monterey employees and other concerned citizens in the effort to try to convince the Cuomo administration to reconsider its decision.

A similar rally in early September drew approximately 200 supporters to the Watkins Glen Community Center.  

At Saturday’s rally in Elmira, organizers were joined by former graduates of the Monterey Shock Incarceration Program and family members of former graduates to speak in support of the program and Monterey’s importance to the state’s criminal justice system.  

Read more in the:

Star-Gazette, "Camp Monterey supporters rally, tell of its ability to turn lives around"

The Leader, "Officials, ex-inmates: Closing shock camp will be costly"

The Odessa File,  "Rally sends ongoing message: Save Monterey Shock Camp"

YNN, "Rally held for Monterey Shock Camp" 

WETM-TV, "Hundreds rally to save Monterey shock"

In addition to the region’s state lawmakers, other area government officials, Monterey employees and representatives of not-for-profit organizations who’ve benefitted from the participation of Monterey inmate work crews on numerous community service and enhancement projects over the years will also address supporters.

Local leaders have been critical of the Cuomo administration’s decision, noting the loss of local jobs and other local economic consequences that will result from the facility’s closing, and highlighting Monterey’s record of fiscal and correctional services success – a record which was praised by the Cuomo administration itself just last September as part of the facility’s 25th Anniversary celebration.  Monterey was New York’s first “shock” facility. There are currently 124 employees at the Monterey facility.  

Supporters have also noted that Monterey’s closing comes on the heels of another Cuomo administration plan to shut down inpatient services at and diminish the overall role of the Elmira Psychiatric Center – a move that could result in additional job losses and other economic consequences locally, as well as put at risk the quality of mental health care services across the Southern Tier and Finger Lakes regions.

To sign an online petition in support of Monterey, Click Here.