Gov. Andrew Cuomo has closed seven prisons and is targeting two more in his executive budget – Beacon in Dutchess County and Bayview in Manhattan – but the corrections officers union won’t let the governor do it without a fight.
The State Correctional Officers and Police Benevolent Association is launching a $250,000-plus campaign today, including radio spots across the state, direct mail to lawmakers and advertising in downstate newspapers.
Donn Rowe, the president of the 26,000-member union, will testify in today’s budget hearing that even if no jobs are lost, hundreds of corrections officers will be displaced. “Hundreds of correction officers are still waiting for transfers within a daily commuting distance of their homes, having had their jobs displaced hours away from their previous assignments after nine correctional facility closures during the Cuomo administration,” Rowe said, according to prepared testimony. “These forced transfers mean many officers live hours away from their families during the work week, and are only able to return home on their days off. … This proposal will force even more correction officers out of the job or away from their families.”
The two facilities are the least efficient in the system and closure would save $18.7 million in the next budget year, according to the Cuomo administration.