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What’s not in NY Assembly budget: Cuomo’s plan to close state prisons

Assembly Democrats don’t support Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s plan to expedite the closure of up to three state prisons this year.

The Assembly majority’s one-house budget plan released late Monday excludes Cuomo’s proposal. The governor is seeking authority from the state Legislature to close as many as three correctional facilities by Sept. 1.

Michael Whyland, a spokesman for the Assembly Democrats, confirmed Cuomo’s plan isn’t included in the chamber’s budget bills.

In his 30-day budget amendments, Cuomo included the proposal to shutter up to three state prisons. His plan would require the Department of Corrections and Community Supervision to review the state’s 54 correctional facilities and determine which should close. There would be criteria the agency would consider, such as facility security level, available programs for inmates and the potential reuse of the property.

Cuomo, who has boasted about closing 24 state prisons and juvenile detention centers, contends more prisons can be shuttered due to a declining inmate population. The inmate population is now 46,973, down from 56,419 since 2011 — the governor’s first year in office.

The state Division of Budget estimates the closures could eliminate more than 1,200 beds in the prison system and save at least $35 million.

The Citizen:
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