Senate Saves Ogdensburg And Moriah Shock Correctional Facilities

June 18, 2010

Facilities are Major Employers for Region

The Senate announced today they have secured an agreement with the Assembly and Governor which provides for the full and continued operation of Ogdensburg Correctional Facility and Moriah Shock Incarceration Correctional Facility.
Together, the Ogdensburg and Moriah Shock facilities support nearly 400 North Country jobs. “We have reached an agreement with the Governor to keep both Ogdensburg Correctional and Moriah Shock open,” said Senator Darrel J. Aubertine (D-Cape Vincent). “As I’ve said all along, working together we would get this done. The budget will include language for the full and continued operation of these facilities. I want to thank Governor Paterson for listening to the people, giving us the opportunity to present our case and agreeing to take this proposal out of the budget process.”
“Ogdensburg and Moriah Shock are economic engines for the North Country, not only meeting our public protection needs, but also sustaining hundreds of local jobs,” said Senate Democratic Leader John L. Sampson. “From the start our priority was to save these two facilities and keep these jobs in the community.”
Senator Ruth Hassell-Thompson (D-Mt. Vernon), Chairwoman of the Senate Committee on Crimes Victims, Crime and Corrections said, “My colleagues and I have worked diligently to keep these critical facilities open.  They provide employment for hundreds of people and are vital to the economic health of these upstate communities. As I have said all along, this Senate Majority cares deeply about the needs of upstate New York, and will continue to work with its residents to ensure that their education and skills are properly utilized.”
Senator Betty Little (R-Queensbury) said, “This was a concerted effort on the part of so many people to save Moriah Shock. I’m grateful that the Governor, Senate and Assembly understand the economic impact of this facility on this community and region. The facility will remain open and continue to be a vital component of our corrections system.”
Notices of closure for OCF and Moriah Shock had been sent by Department of Corrections Commissioner Biran Fischer and were supported in the Executive’s proposed budget. Senate Democrats opposed the closure of these two facilities from the start, and including funding for their operations in the Majority’s Budget Resolution, passed in March by Senate Democrats.
Ogdensburg Correctional Facility and Moriah Shock Incarceration Correctional Facility

Ogdensburg Correctional Facility is medium security and employs 287 members of the surrounding community with more than 95 percent of its 490 staffed beds occupied. The facility is a model of efficiency with its $22 million payroll that includes overtime numbers 50 to 85 percent lower than other facilities in the state. The experienced, well trained and efficient staff run the facility so well that the unusual incidents among inmates is less than half the statewide average and the American Correctional Association has awarded accreditation scores of 99 and 100 percent. In fact, in 2008-09 the facility staff managed to under spend their budget, saving the state $100,000, while recent reports have shown downstate facilities in the DOCS system have spent exorbitant amounts on overtime.
Moriah Shock in Minneville employs 102 people and has been part of an increasing effort to use alternative incarceration techniques to rehabilitate prisoners. The facility has been run at about 85 percent of its 200 staffed bed capacity.