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Hochul: more state prison closures ‘absolutely on the table’

Published: Oct. 27, 2021 at 4:11 PM EDT
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NEW YORK New York (WWNY) - State prison closures are still on the table under Governor Kathy Hochul’s administration.

The governor took questions from reporters during a news conference in New York City Wednesday afternoon.

Since former Governor Cuomo’s plan was to continue closing prisons around the state, 7 News asked Hochul if it’s her plan to follow through with it.

Hochul admitted it was one of the first things she looked into when she first took office.

Here’s her full response to the question:

“What I found is that many facilities in upstate that are only half full and what we are looking at is a scaling down initiative. But also my question is always about the workers who made this their career. I don’t live far from some of these facilities in upstate New York, my home, and I know it has an impact on the local economy. So, the question is: if these are to be converted from incarcerating individuals, is there another use that they can be used for? I want to get creative with this. I don’t know if these could be used for substance abuse treatment centers, residential facilities. So, these are buildings that I am looking at the costs, but also the opportunities associated with converting them to a different purpose. We don’t need as many prisons; the number of incarcerated people has gone down dramatically in our state. So, that’s something that is absolutely on the table and we are looking at right now.”

In the last round of closures, which took effect earlier this year, the Watertown Correctional Facility was closed, sending 400 union and non-union workers to other state prisons.

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