March 04, 2009
NYSCOPBA OPPOSES EXECUTIVE BUDGET PROPOSAL TO CLOSE PRISONS; LAUNCHES CAMPAIGN TO KEEP NEW YORK SAFE
ALBANY, NY— Today, New York State Correctional Officers & Police Benevolent Association (NYSCOPBA) President Donn Rowe reaffirmed NYSCOPBA’s opposition to the Executive Budget proposal to close four (4) minimum-security facilities.
“NYSCOPBA is calling upon the Legislature to reject the budget proposal to close the four prisons in Franklin, Saratoga, Chenango and Madison Counties,” said Rowe. "Closing these facilities will threaten public safety and mean layoffs for communities that are already facing tough economic times."
To educate the people of New York on the very real danger of prison closures, NYSCOPBA has launched a comprehensive media campaign in targeted districts that would be most impacted by the Executive Budget proposal, including radio ads, print ads, and direct mail to voters across the state.
“The New York State Department of Correctional Services continues to manipulate data to mislead the public about the capacity of our prisons, when in fact the DOCS itself issued a report acknowledging that our prisons are operating at 104% capacity,” said Rowe. “Closing additional prisons will cause further overcrowding, endangering the lives of corrections officers and increasing the risk of inmate violence.”
Instead of prison closings, NYSCOPBA is proposing a range of actions to trim waste from DOCS.
"The Commissioner of Corrections need look no further than his own main office which is top-heavy with expensive and unnecessary management," said Rowe.
Currently, there are over nine hundred employees working at DOCS central office, many of whom make well over one hundred thousand dollars per year, not including the layer upon layer of administrators that work at each of the seventy prisons across New York.
“Our members work in some of the most dangerous and stressful conditions imaginable and in return all we ask is that we work in a safe and secure environment,” continued President Rowe. “Yet, when it comes time to make cuts, the Commissioner turns to those on the front line, proposing we guard more inmates with less staff. Shuttling inmates from one prison into another overcrowded prison at the expense of the safety of correctional officers, inmates, and numerous communities is not the answer.”
New York State Correctional Officers and Police Benevolent Association (NYSCOPBA), Inc. is the Union representing over 23,000 New York State Employees in the Security Services sector. As corrections officers, NYSCOPBA members do some of the toughest work there is, so that all of us stay safe.
To hear NYSCOPBA’s first radio ad, Go to www.nyscopba.org/radio-ads
To learn more about NYSCOPBA, please visit www.nyscopba.org