Prison beds still on the chopping block for state budget

ALBANY, N.Y. (WKTV) - One of the many items that still remains on the chopping block of the tentative New York State Budget is 3,700 prison beds.

It's unclear where those cuts will be made.

Senator Joseph Griffo, who has two prisons in his district, says that he wants to look at cuts to upper management levels before closing prisons.

Lawmakers have demanded the cuts be spread equally between upstate and downstate.

The governor's "Prison Closure Commission" isn't set to meet until after the budget deadline.

The following is a statement from Donn Rowe, President of NYSCOPBA, a 23,000-member union representing the State Security Services Unit including New York State's prison correctional officers, on the passage of the New York State budget:

"We are obviously very disappointed and frankly disturbed that the leaders in Albany have chosen to make drastic and unnecessary cuts to our prison system, rather than seeking to cut the ever-growing and costly bureaucracy that is the Department of Corrections.

The announced cuts will have very serious impacts on the safety of our jails - putting more lives at risk and jeopardizing the structure of the entire New York State prison system. With this budget, the leaders in Albany have stated unequivocally: we care about numbers on a spreadsheet more than people's lives and safety."

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