One of the most passionate moments in Governor Andrew Cuomo’s speech was the moment where he condemned the use of incarceration as a way of building employment in upstate New York.
He began the segment of his speech talking about juvenile incarceration facilities, but appeared to transition to a broader blast at the use of correctional facilities in general to provide jobs. Here’s what he said:
“An incarceration program is not an employment program. If people need jobs, let’s get people jobs. Don’t put other people in prison to give some people jobs. Don’t put other people in juvenile justice facilities to give some people jobs. That’s not what this state is all about. And that has to end this session.”
The North Country has more than a dozen state correctional facilities. Two prisons — in Ogdensburg and Moriah — were slated for closure last year, but were saved by an aggressive lobbying campaign.
Two other facilities, Camp Gabriels north of Saranac Lake and Lyon Mountain Correctional Facility have already been mothballed.
We’ll have a full report tomorrow morning, looking at what this might mean for the region’s prison industry.