A new advertisement from the New York correctional officers union takes aim at Gov. Andrew Cuomo, knocking the governor for his administration’s plan to close 17 state facilities within the coming years—including four prisons.
The New York State Correctional Officers & Police Benevolent Association ad tries to make the case that Cuomo is more focused on downstate than upstate, where all four of the prisons slated for closure are located.
“While Governor Cuomo is focused on New York City, upstate continues to suffer,” the ad’s narrator says. “Instead of reforming bureaucratic wastes and overtime costs, the governor wants to shut four prisons and several mental health facilities. That will kill hundreds of good-paying jobs and make these institutions even more overcrowded and dangerous.”
Among the other facilities set to close or eliminate inpatient care are 13 developmental centers and psychiatric hospital, including the Elmira Psychiatric Hospital, the Rochester Psychiatric Center and two in Binghamton. Two are in New York City: the Brooklyn Developmental Center and the Manhattan Psychiatric Center.
The prison closures were announced earlier this year, with the state said is due to a shrinking inmate population in New York. The state estimates it would save $30 million a year.
As currently scheduled, the prisons would close in July. Among those slated for closure are the Monterey Shock Incarceration Correctional Facility in Orange, Schuyler County, and the Butler Correctional Facility in Red Creek, Wayne County.
UPDATED: Rich Azzopardi, a Cuomo spokesman, responds: “This is blatantly false advertising to protect taxpayer funded facilities that are half empty.”
Here’s the 30-second radio ad, courtesy of NYSCOPBA. It will air in Albany, Binghamton, Buffalo, Elmira, Plattsburgh, Rochester, Syracuse and Watertown starting today, according to the union.