OGDENSBURG, N.Y. (WWTI) — Six New York prisons are set to close on March 10 of 2022 due to a continued decline in the incarcerated population. One of the six will be the Ogdensburg Correctional Facility located in St. Lawrence County.
According to a statement from the Department of Corrections and Community Supervision, the closings are an effort to save taxpayer dollars. The Department added that the state’s criminal justice reforms and policies have resulted in a drastic decline in the incarcerated population.
As of November 8, 2021, the total incarcerated population in New York state correctional facilities is 31,469. According to NYS Correctional Officers and Police Benevolent Association, this represents both a total reduction in excess of 12,700 individuals since January 1, 2020, and the lowest total incarcerated population in New York State prisons since 1984.
The DOCCS stated that after reviewing the operations of its 50 correctional facilities they decided six facilities will officially close in March of 2022. The decision was made based on a variety of factors including, physical infrastructure, program offerings, facility security level, specialized medical and mental health services, proximity of other facilities in the area to minimize the impact to staff, and potential re-use options and areas of the state where prior closures have occurred in order to minimize the impact to communities.
The six facilities closing will include Ogdensburg Correctional Facility, Moriah Shock Incarceration Correctional Facility, Willard Drug Treatment Campus, Southport Correctional Facility, Downstate Correctional Facility and Rochester Correctional Facility.
The medium-security facility located in Ogdensburg currently staffs 268 employees and houses 158 incarcerated individuals. The DOCCS plans on working with bargaining units to provide staff from the facilities with priority placement via voluntary transfers and priority employment at other facilities or other state agencies. The Department said in a statement that they do not anticipate any layoffs will take place due to the closures.
The incarcerated population at the six prisons will be relocated at other institutions. According to the DOCCS, the closing will save taxpayers approximately $142 million.