Over the next year, New York State Governor Kathy Hochul has proposed closing up to five state prisons.

According to the website Corrections 1, The 2024-2025 state budget agreement allows the Governor to proceed, although it's currently unclear which facilities will be slated for closure.

Hochul can close the correction facilities with 90 days’ notice to Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins and Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie.

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6 News Albany reported earlier this year that the Correctional Association of New York supports the proposal, noting staff shortages limit access to programs for inmates and that closing up to 5 prisons could be the solution. There are currently 44 prisons in New York State. The Correctional Association is an independent prison oversight organization.

Corrections 1 notes that the acting commissioner of the state Department of Corrections and Community Supervision, Daniel Martuscello says that in addition to staffing issues, inmate population plays into the closing proposal, noting that in 1999 the inmate population was 72,649. As of April 1, 2024, the inmate population in New York State prisons was 32,918, a decrease of 54.7 percent.

The plan to close more prisons has been criticized by some lawmakers and the New York State Correctional Officers and Police Benevolent Association, a union representing corrections officers, according to the Corrections 1 article.

As noted, there is no work on what prisons might be slated to close, the Correctional Association of New York states that as of February 1, 2024, five New York State prisons with the highest number of empty beds include the Great Meadow Correctional Facility with 1,157 empty beds at 27% full, the Auburn Correctional Facility with 713 empty beds at 58% full. Clinton Correctional Facility with 638 empty beds at 68% full, the Franklin Correctional Facility with 616 empty beds at 57% full, and the Bare Hill Correctional Facility: with 604 empty beds at 57% full.

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