CHATEAUGAY - The New York State Correctional Officers and Police Benevolent Association and supporters will hold one last rally March 11 in Albany to try to save Chateaugay Correctional Facility and other prisons across the state from shutting down.
The NYSCOPBA rally in Albany will be our last big push before the [state] budget is finalized, Brenda Brue said in an email on Sunday.
Ms. Brue has worked as a nurse at Chateaugay Correctional for the past 12 years.
This is our last chance to convince legislators and Assembly people to fight for Chateaugay and to save Chateaugay Correctional, she said. We encourage everyone in Franklin County and across the state to get out and participate in the rally. Show your support and help us fight for upstate New York jobs.
The Cuomo administration has proposed closing four prisons Chateaugay, Mt. McGregor in Saratoga County, Butler in Wayne County and the Monterey Shock Incarceration facility in Schuyler County. The administration says a decline in the prison population has made the facilities unnecessary and their closure can save the state millions of dollars.
Prison supporters cite the economic impact the closings will have on the surrounding communities, and NYSCOPBA has argued that prisons throughout the state remain overcrowded.
The NYSCOPBA rally will be held at West Capital Park on Swan Street at the state Capitol at 11:30 a.m., according to Ms. Brue.
Buses will leave the [the Malone] Kmart shopping center at 6 a.m., she said. You must reserve a seat if you plan on riding the bus. Lunch and T-shirts will be provided.
Bus seats can be reserved at www.nyscopba.org, where other bus stops are listed, she said.
The union and other opponents of the prison closures participated in Jan. 29 rally in Albany that sought to preserve services targeted for elimination this year under the executive budget.
That rally, dubbed Save Our Services, was organized by the Public Employees Federation.
There was a lot of positive comments and feedback from the legislators who spoke [on saving the facilities], Ms. Brue said following the Jan. 29 rally. They sounded very supportive. It was a big plus.
The average statewide cost of housing a parole violator is $137,000, Cheryl Poupore, one of the calculation clerks at the facility for the past 12 years, said in November.
However, Ms. Brue said the cost per inmate at CCF is $37,000 to house the violators $100,000 less than the statewide average.
Closing the Chateaugay site will result in the loss of 111 jobs representing a $5.8 million annual payroll, according to previous reports.
Chateaugay Correctional is slated to close July 26.