Correctional workers, legislators fighting to keep local prison - NEWS10 ABC: Albany, New York News, Weather, Sports

Correctional workers, legislators fighting to keep local prison open

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MOREAU, N.Y. - The Mount McGregor Correctional Facility is set to close by July of next year but legislators and the folks who work at the prison are not letting it go without a fight.

More than 100 correctional workers and union officials gathered outside the Mount McGregor Correctional Facility Wednesday morning to fight for their jobs. 

In July of this year, the New York State Department of Corrections announced they will be closing four prisons over the next year - Mount McGregor in Saratoga County is one of them. They claim it will save tax payers $30 million annually and because of a reduction in the state crime rate there is no longer a need to keep the prisons open.

However facility workers and legislators who joined them on Wednesday disagree. They say just because the population of the prison is lower now doesn't mean it will stay that way. 

In the past, the facility has been filled to capacity with inmates having to double and triple bunk in rooms. They also say it will be a public safety issue if other prisons become more crowded because of these closures.

Also on the chopping block are jobs. Over 300 employees will have to transfer to different facilities or lose their job.

The Department of Corrections and Community Supervision said in a statement, "The organizers of today's event either have no knowledge of current law, or are intentionally ignoring key facts in order to score cheap political points.   New York's crime rate continues to decline, the inmate population continues to shrink,  and taxpayers cannot afford to continue to pay for empty prison beds. "

Legislators were at the prison to introduce a bill asking for more transparency when discussion like this closures are made.

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