New York State Says 6 Correctional Facilities to Close in March

RIKERS ISLAND, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES – 2020/06/19: Department of Corrections bus at Rikers Island. (Photo by Erik McGregor/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Six New York state correctional facilities will close next March in a cost-saving move amid declining inmate populations, officials announced Monday.

More than 1,700 people work at the six upstate New York facilities, and there are more than 1,400 inmates.

The inmates will be sent to other locations, and no layoffs are expected from the closures, which are projected to save $142 million, according to the release from the state Department of Corrections and Community Supervision. The corrections agency said it will work with unions to provide staffers with transfer opportunities to other facilities or to other state agencies.

The facilities scheduled for closure March 10 are: Ogdensburg Correctional Facility, Moriah Shock Incarceration Correctional Facility, Willard Drug Treatment Campus, Southport Correctional Facility, Downstate Correctional Facility and Rochester Correctional Facility.

The governor was authorized by the Legislature this year to close state prisons amid a long-term drop in inmates. There are currently 31,469 inmates in state correctional facilities, down from a system-wide high of 72,773 in 1999.

The agency said officials looked at multiple factors before making the decision, including physical infrastructure, program offerings, facility security level, proximity to other facilities and health services.

“DOCCS carefully reviewed the operations at its 50 correctional facilities for possible closure,” the agency said in a release.

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