Prison Law Blog

Sara Mayeux

Posts Tagged ‘andrew cuomo

Judge Rejects Prison Guards’ Lawsuit to Keep Staten Island Jail Open

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A federal judge has thrown out a class-action lawsuit by prison guards seeking to keep open the Arthur Kill Correctional Facility on Staten Island. Set to be shuttered on December 1, the prison is one of seven targeted by Gov. Andrew Cuomo for closure. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of black and Latino guards,

contending that the closure of Arthur Kill will cause disproportionate harm to minority officers because the nearest medium security jail they can transfer to is 100 miles away from their homes.

The upstate prisons slated for closing are largely staffed by white officers who will not face a similar hardship commuting to another jail, according to lawyer Linda Cronin, who represents the minority officers.

[Judge Dora] Irizarry reserved decision on the request for a temporary restraining order, but ripped Cronin for coming to court with “nothing more than hearsay and speculation.”

Written by sara

August 16, 2011 at 1:31 pm

Downsizing the Prison-Industrial Complex

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One problem with the last 30 years in the United States is that we built all of these prisons and now they stand as an argument for their own preservation. Against hypothetical visions of a future with both fewer prisons and safer, more vibrant communities, hulking brick-and-metal warehouses for the “bad people” seem, to many, like a safer bet because, hey, we’ve already built them. I suppose I would just say: We have to get over that.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, in the spirit of his inaugural message that “an incarceration program is not an employment program,” will seek to cut 3,000 prison beds in his 2011 budget. That’d be the largest single-year reduction in over 10 years, but considering New York would still have 61,000 prison beds left, it’s not like Cuomo’s proposing some kind of radical flinging-open of the prison doors. Plus New York’s not exactly flush in cash these days, so maybe this sounds like a good idea! But of course, the problem is that the politics of closing prisons are dicey (second in diceyness perhaps only to the politics of closing military bases), so instead of closed prisons it looks like what New Yorkers may actually get in 2011 is just another report by yet another blue-ribbon panel:

… instead of designating specific prisons for closing in his budget — a move that would harden opposition to his budget, perhaps implacably, among lawmakers whose districts are home to the facilities — Mr. Cuomo will appoint a task force of lawmakers and prison officials to come up with a consolidation plan after the budget is passed, people briefed on the plan said.

Donn Rowe, the president of the state correction officers’ union, expressed dismay over the proposal, saying, “The closure of any additional facilities could pose a clear and present danger to the public.”

Meanwhile, the New Orleans City Council is scheduled to vote this Thursday on how big of a new jail to build. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by sara

February 1, 2011 at 1:28 pm

Gov. Cuomo: “An Incarceration Program Is Not an Employment Program”

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Cheers to New York’s new governor, Andrew Cuomo, who’s vowed to restructure and maybe even close the state’s notorious juvenile justice facilities:

Cuomo said he understands the importance of keeping jobs, but that doesn’t justify the cost to the taxpayer and the risk to the young people who are in programs that aren’t working, many of them hundreds of miles from home.

“An incarceration program is not an employment program. If people need jobs, let’s get people jobs,” he said in his address Wednesday.

One of my first posts here at Prison Law Blog was on the especially infamous Tryon juvenile facility upstate, which is scheduled to shut its doors in just a few weeks. One of Gov. Cuomo’s proposals is to shorten the current 12-month waiting period that draws out the closure process for these facilities.

Written by sara

January 10, 2011 at 8:36 am

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