FISHKILL, NY – Senator Sue Serino today released the following statement in response to news that the state plans to shutter six correctional facilities including Downstate Correctional Facility in Fishkill, Dutchess County:
“Since the start of the pandemic, hundreds of our neighbors who work at Downstate Correctional have selflessly put their own health on the line to do their jobs, protect our community, and return home to their loved ones, and how are they being repaid? With news of a pending closure just before the holiday season.
New York’s prison populations are not dropping because our state has suddenly become safer, they are dropping because of misguided policies coming out of Albany like ‘bail reform’ that put criminals ahead of law-abiding citizens and back onto our streets. The proposed closures will hurt both our prison workforce and those incarcerated, who will likely be sent to more crowded facilities while the COVID-19 pandemic continues to pose a threat.
As for speculation that the facilities slated for closure could be converted for other purposes like substance abuse treatment centers, those plans needed to be coordinated well before closures were announced without warning. Today’s news only raises more questions than it answers. It is not right, and I urge Governor Hochul fulfill her promise to govern by listening, slow the process down, consider the impact this closure will have on our local community, and reconsider the decision to close Downstate Correctional.”