Updated 02/19/2013 06:16 PM
Locals oppose Cuomo plan to close Beacon prison
State Senator Terry Gipson and other Hudson Valley officials are trying to block a portion of Governor Cuomo's budget plan that would close the Beacon Correctional Facility. YNN's John Wagner has the story.
To view our videos, you need to
install Adobe Flash 9 or above. Install now.
Then come back here and refresh the page.
BEACON, N.Y. -- According to Governor Andrew Cuomo, Beacon prison sits half empty and costs double per inmate to run than an efficient prison. But local officials lead by State Senator Terry Gipson say those figures are misleading and inflated.
"The numbers in the proposed budget are not really based on hard facts. The actual hit to the Beacon economy will be severe."
Locals say the state is circumventing the law by giving just sixty days notice. The city budget relies on charging the jail water and sewer fees for a full twelve months.
"Our budget may have a shortfall in it that we'll have to make up," said City of Beacon Mayor Randy Casale. "If they would have given the year notice they require in the law, it would have gave us time to plan for that."
Governor Cuomo expects to save $19 million through 2014 and $62 million the year after by closing both Beacon Prison and Bayview in Manhattan.
"The capacity levels can be manipulated by the department," said NYSCOPBA President Donn Rowe. "Here's an opportunity to manage the system properly, to spread the inmates out, safely."
"The money that the state is proposing to save will essentially be lost in the City of Beacon and that money will have to be made up somewhere else," said State Senator Gipson. "They were comparing the cost of operating a minimum security women's facility to the average cost of running a man's medium or maximum security prison. So it's not apples to apples and it's not a fair way to judge how to close a facility."
Sitting as the last minimum security prison in the state, Beacon correctional is home to around 125 female inmates and employs around 120 workers.
"These women will be forced to be relocated to medium or maximum security prisons, which is a huge step backwards," said Gipson.
The state budget, and the fate of Beacon prison, comes due April 1st.