Smullen Responds to Prison Closures, Reaffirms Support Of NYSCOPBA

Assemblyman Robert Smullen (R,C,I,SAM-Meco) notes the rapid closure of several Upstate New York correctional facilities. These closures reflect the continued erosion of public safety through recent legislative efforts at criminal justice reform, while also affecting the economic picture of communities who have helped keep New Yorkers safe.

​“The radical champions of flawed prison reform in New York are undoubtedly happy with this news, but I’m always more concerned about the system of justice for the victims of their crimes left in the wake of these closures,” Smullen said. “It’s encouraging to hear that direct layoffs of corrections personnel are not on the table, and transfers will be available for staff, but the economic health of upstate New York will certainly be hurt by this heightened security threat.”

Ogdensburg Correctional Facility, Moriah Shock Incarceration Correctional Facility, Willard Drug Treatment Campus, Southport Correctional Facility, Downstate Correctional Facility and Rochester Correctional Facility are all slated to close by March 10, 2022. Smullen believes a better transition plan could have been implemented.

“Correctional officers are skilled public employees who work hard to protect us and the inmates of these facilities, and to close six facilities at once is bad planning,” Smullen said. “Quick transfers impede on their mission, and will most certainly require some to move with their families. Meanwhile, the surrounding communities of these closed facilities will be hurting.”