Walczyk comments on Gov. Cuomo’s proposal to close state prisons

ALBANY, NY — “We’ve unfortunately seen this before. Buried in the governor’s Executive Budget proposal is language that would effectively give him the power to close as many state prisons as he deems appropriate for the ‘cost-effective and efficient operation of the correctional system.’

Even with a near forty percent reduction in inmate population over the past two decades, correction officers are still at risk and prison violence is at an all-time high. Instead of closing facilities, the Legislature and Executive should be taking a hard look at ending double-bunking.

The governor touted in his budget presentation that unemployment was down. Then, he proposes a budget that would shut down an undetermined number of state prisons, putting good, hard-working people out of work and possibly putting criminals back on the street. Seems counterproductive to me. When you couple this with the current ‘catch and release’ laws that took effect on January 1, the public could be far less safe than they already are.

Nothing good will come from closing state correctional facilities. I’ll be fighting tooth and nail to defend prisons and the dedicated officers who risk their well-being to keep us safe.  What the governor is proposing is not the answer.”