Albany, N.Y., July 26— State Senator Tom O’Mara (R,C-Big Flats) released the following statement on today’s announcement by the Cuomo administration that it will close the Monterey Shock Incarceration Correctional Facility in Schuyler County and three other state correctional facilities over the next 12 months:
"It's more tough news for a region already reeling from devastating job losses and coming on the heels of the Cuomo administration’s recent announcement that it plans to shut down inpatient services at the Elmira Psychiatric Center.
“Once again I’ll say that the goals of downsizing and cost-effectiveness in government are moves in the right direction. But the Cuomo administration’s approach appears to be taking a particular toll on our region and other upstate communities and, in my view, it’s not making fiscal sense.
“I have to continue questioning the wisdom of these actions. I’m strongly opposed to the changes proposed for the Elmira Psychiatric Center, which in my view fail to make any sense at all for New York State fiscally or from a quality-of-care perspective.
“The same goes for Monterey. For more than twenty-five years, the Monterey Shock Incarceration Facility has stood as an innovative and successful corrections initiative. The unique blend of counseling, education and treatment at our shock facilities has saved the state over a billion dollars during this time. The administration and staff of Monterey, past and present, have turned around numerous lives that were once at a dead-end but, today, are productive and successful.
“I’ll continue to raise all of these concerns and questions, and will keep working with local leaders to try to make the case to the Cuomo administration that there may be more effective ways to achieve the short- and long-term goals we share.”
Monterey was New York’s first “shock” facility. The facility celebrated its 25th Anniversary in September 2012.
There are currently 124 employees at the Monterey facility. According to the Cuomo administration, the closure plan proposes to avoid layoffs by transitioning employees to other, preferably nearby correctional facilities or to employment in other state agencies.