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February 8, 2019 - 2:04pm

Hawley: Far-left continues courting convicts with pay raise

posted by Billie Owens in steve hawley, news, inmates pay raise.

Press release:

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) is blasting a recent proposal by New York City politicians to pay convicted rapists, drug dealers and robbers as much as 30 times more for the work they perform in prison.

The move comes as Gov. Cuomo mulls eliminating middle-class tax cuts to cover his budget gap.

“When is the middle-class going to get a break in this state? First it was a taxpayer-funded college education for prisoners, then it was free computer tablets, voting rights for parolees – now it’s a pay raise,” Hawley said. “How about we start rewarding those of us who have actually contributed to society instead of abused its privileges?”

The proposal comes after Gov. Cuomo allowed prison inmates access to free computer tablets and conditional pardons in order to vote last year while still on parole for anything from rape to robbery to molesting children.

“Individuals don’t end up in prison for first-time minor offenses. These are serious offenders and they should face harsh consequences for their transgressions,” Hawley continued.

“The far-left, realizing their message no longer appeals to middle America, is now courting the votes of anyone who will listen, including criminals – this is the new New York.”

Assemblyman Hawley represents the 139thDistrict, which consists of Genesee and Orleans counties and parts of Monroe County. For more information, please visit Assemblyman Hawley’s Official Website.

Daniel Norstrand
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Says the guy who was born with the proverbial silver spoon in mouth, and another in hand. I wonder how he would have done if born in the ghetto to an unwed/unattached mother who only bore him for government supplied benefits. The vast majority of prisoners will one day be on the streets again. Wisdom would dictate that the system prepare them for that day. If only to cover our own butt. Rewarding work is a basic premise of our society and a premise to which many convicts have never been exposed let alone nourished. Every prison should be a prison farm. Prisoners who lack empathy for their fellow man can often be brought along to change through emotional attachment to animals. Every prisoner should be afforded an opportunity to better themselves in whatever fashion they're able. All to the common good.

Debra Nanni
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Well said Daniel

C. M. Barons
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Who is he kidding? He voted no on A07257.

Candace Bower
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The point is where is the money coming from? We are already billions in debt.

John Roach
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There are about 60,000 inmates in State prison. They are programed for 6 hours per day. So, $3/hr. x 6hrs. = $18/inmate x 60,000 = $1,080,000/year. Since the proposed budget is already 2 billion plus dollars in the hole, which program takes the hit to pay for this?

Tim Miller
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Hawley - you freaking idiot...
“How about we start rewarding those of us who have actually contributed to society instead of abused its privileges?”

Haven't you been whining about Cuomo's proposals to raise the minimum wage to $15/hr?!? Let's answer your own question... he has been doing it regularly, you idiot.

I understand and acknowledge that proposal is not outrageously popular with many Batavian readers. But Hawley asked the question...

Candace Bower
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Mr Miller. Is necessary to call people names?

C. M. Barons
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It should not be overlooked; CorCraft generates $50 Million annually. Nor should it be overlooked that prisons are an economic boon not only the communities they are located in; they also generate income for thousands of support industries. https://www.newyorker.com/business/currency/making-profits-on-the-captiv...

John Roach
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CM, that's true. But CorCraft also eats up most of that money to pay for its operations. An example, is Attica. It's metal industrial program has approx. 115 inmates. Then there are about 50 civilians to supervise them and manage the plant. Then there are the officers for security. And the production operation is very inefficient. It has to be to give the inmates something to do. It's a make work project really. If it was a plant on the outside, there would only be 40 or less workers.

Thomas Callan
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Candace, that is what bullies do. If he truly had a hunk of brain, perhaps he would except your challenge to a debate?

Daniel Norstrand
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The money comes from turning convicts into law abiding, productive citizens. Last I knew it cost $60 grand + per year to maintain a prisoner in NY State prisons. That doesn't count all of the monies for investigations, court costs (both prosecution and public defenders), pre-sentencing investigations, transportation costs, post release parole. I'm sure I've missed some but these don't even approach the value of crimes not committed. I agree that they should be punished but depriving them of the opportunity to change is immeasurably self defeating.

Daniel Norstrand
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The recividism (% of prisoners who are arrested again after release) rate in the US is the highest in the world at 76.6% (2014 figures). Norway has about 20%. The difference is how rehabilitation is carried out. While I have championed the Norwegian model, I think it is lenient to a fault. It does however give a blueprint that if followed in 75% or so of its practices, would result in similar success. Considering that many of those rearrested commit many crimes undetected, I feel that we could, with due diligence, cut our crime rate by 80%. Here is a great article:
https://www.businessinsider.com/why-norways-prison-system-is-so-successf...

John Roach
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Daniel, if you want to reduce recidivism, make getting a GED mandatory to get out. You can not believe how many refuse to attend school or learn a trade. They want to push a broom or mop floors for 2 hours a day then go to the yard. The vast majority can't read or write even at an 8th grade level.

Candace Bower
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I agree with John. You can throw all the money you want at the correction system but the recidivism rate won't necessarily change. Norway has a more homogenous population than the US so you cannot compare them. It ultimately comes down to personal responsibility and education.

Scott Chismar
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Great to see the posts on here by Daniel Norstrand. Well put.

I have become very much accustom to reading the silly ridiculous dribble from Hawley's press releases but this one was even more over the top than usual. What a bunch of empty words and nonsense pandering.

Once again, Mr. Hawley has been in office for quite some time now. He continuously gripes about Cuomo and the Democrats. Well, Mr. Hawley has had plenty of time to correct the wrongs that he sees in Albany. But by his own admission, he is a failure. He is in office and can't get the job done. It is time for him to go. Let him go back to his silver spoon life where he never had to work for anything. Let's give someone else a chance to go to Albany and speak for us. And please remember, it is not just my opinion that Hawley is not getting anything done. With each press release about the woes in Albany he is broadcasting his own failures.

Bob Price
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Umm, if they get a pay raise, then make them pay for their "free" health insurance, 3 meals a day, cable tv, a gym membership , etc,etc.....I guess it pays to be a criminal in NY, why work and pay taxes when you can get everything for free.....

Scott Chismar
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Hey Bob Price, if that is really the way you feel why don't you just go commit a felony and get sent to prison? According to you they have it made inside. Kind of like a country club. If you really believe this, why not join them?

Daniel Norstrand
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Candace that's like saying throwing money at education is a waste. "Throwing money" is irresponsible in any case. Applying resources in an intelligent manner is never a waste. "Norway has a more homogeneous population". Yes, very true but that is fostered with those who have obviously not been "homogenized" in their society to be more included. That is the very root of their success. "Throwing money" is what we do now.
John Roach a GED has little value if the "graduate" has little to no work ethic. It would be a good thing to include, no doubt. The ex-con in NY is put back on the streets with less possibility for success than they had before their arrest. It's kind of a duhhh how do you think that will work out. If the present system was even somewhat successful I'd be willing to turn my interest/attention to other things but that is not the case. Quite the opposite.
Pushing a broom for two hours should earn the inmate study time in his cell, not hangin time with his buds. An 8 hrs shift of decent work and a decent attitude should be rewarded. The diligent worker should have a good meal and a better cell and even hang time with his buds. Some will never come around but with the due diligence this situation deserves, the mentally ill should statistically be the only ones who fail. And they obviously have special needs deserving extra, in depth, intervention.
Thanks for the "tip of the hat" Debra & Scott.

John Roach
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Daniel, inmates can already sign up for "cell study", if they want and almost none do. Every prison has one certified teacher just to run that program. And they can learn a trade, but it is hard to get them to do it. If they take a trade, they have to stay in class 6 hours a day. That's not what they want. They want the yard And they are not allowed by the State to be programed more than 6 hours a day. They are not allowed to even volunteer to work more than 6.

John Roach
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Daniel, Special Needs inmates have a whole separate area of the prison for them. The staff ratio is higher: teachers, councilors, recreation staff and social workers. They get a priority for vocational and academic programs is they are capable.

Jim Urtel Jr
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Steve does all he can do to help the people. It`s just too bad that the dems control NYS and are hell-beant on destroying it! To hell with a bunch of prisoners and there pay raise! They made the choice to be criminals and the last thing they were thinking when they committed their crime was hey, I`ll go to prison and get a job and an education. They should have done that before they went to prison!

Tim Miller
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Ms. Bower - when somebody like that is doing something particularly idiotic, such as making accusations while asking a question he's already answered for himself... yeah.

Daniel Norstrand
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John my point was that a system that allows the whole of the population to just hang out in the yard is counter productive. A system of encouragement and rewards is going to be of immediate importance to the inmate. Given the option to hang out without some type of initiative displayed is just continuing the behavior that brought them to their current reality.
Jim Ertl Jr. your attitude is as prevalent as it is understandable. But even with that attitude the facts remain that the population that never is incarcerated is still paying more and more for the current system. You may think that your just throwing them away but they will continue to come back to haunt you. And while that may not scare you, it certainly should scare your wife, children, parents, and grandparents. The US not only has the highest recidivism rate on earth, but we also have the highest percentage of the population behind bars. We are currently being directed by the state to build a bigger jail. Why? Because we don't rehabilitate.

Thomas Callan
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#22 All Wind - No Rain!

Howard B. Owens
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John, it sounds to me like the system isn't addressing the underlying attitudes and issues that leads many into crime -- a lack of hope for a better future. If you grow up in an environment where you don't think you cannot make a better life for yourself, you're not going to try and you are more likely to turn to drugs and crime. If that's your attitude, then when you go to prison you'll lack the motivation to take classes or learn a skill. That malaise would only be amplified by the knowledge that your criminal record will make it harder for you to get ahead once you're out of prison.

Daniel is right -- nearly everybody gets out of prison again and unless they've learned a lesson or two, they will again become a danger, to some degree, in some way, to the community.

Job skills, education are indeed ways out but I suspect not too many see it that way.

I would also suggest that more prisoners need to be introduced to the idea of starting their own businesses. It might be hard for them to find jobs but nobody can refuse to hire you if you create your own job.

One other factor to address in rehabilitation is age. For young men who take on anti-social behavior, it's something they grow out of (for biological and economic reasons) by the time they're 30 or 35. These men should be better equipped to better their lives once they become less aggressive and selfish.

We're much better off with a person works and pays taxes than one who sucks up taxes sitting in prison.

I believe most people who commit criminal acts can become productive members of society. Those who can't, yeah, let's keep them locked up. But everybody deserves a second or even third chance.

John Roach
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Howard, the vocational programs offered in prison are the type that somebody could open there own business. Welding, plumbing and electrical trades are a few of them.

However, if they can not read or write even to an 8th grade level, the odds of starting their own business or even getting hired in a trade are almost zero.. Motivating somebody to go back to school, when he knows they get to go home anyway is a challenge. Paying them more to go to the "yard" is not the answer.

Daniel Norstrand
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The legislation increases the pay for work. Not for "going to the yard". The 1st raise in pay for more than a QUARTER CENTURY. The commissary is stocked with a very limited selection of goods and the prices run usually 30% higher than average retail. So a raise is long overdue. Thank you Howard for sharing a thoughtful conclusion. And thanks for the "tip of the hat."

Howard B. Owens
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John, it all starts with motivation, I think. What programs and services can prison officials implement to boost motivation?

But a key point, if the current system isn't producing the results we want, then we should use science and data, experimental trial and error, to find out what produces better results.

kevin pickell
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I believe Mr. Hawley has the best intentions for the majority of our area's people and there way of thinking. He wasn't born with a silver spoon, he was raised on a farm and had to work at what im sure is a much younger age than you did Scott C.! Prisoners don't need to be payed any more, they should be happy to get anything. Just by having a prison job keeps them in a daily routine of working, so they are used to it when they get out and get there own job. This has nothing to do with minimum wage either. Tim, being on the right, means that you reward good working people, left is more for giving undeserved "privilege's" to those that don't contribute.

John Roach
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Howard, if you want to motivate a person in prison, you tie it to getting out. Want out? Get your GED. Want a time cut? Learn a skill (unless you already had a verified one). Paying a prison more will not help keep them out of prison if they can not read or write and have no job skills.

Dorothy Avery
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I wish our Assemblyman would for once focus on something positive he is trying to do to help our region instead of just focusing on fighting against Albany all of the time. I just found out from someone who lives in a different county that one of the focuses of the Assembly this budget season is rural transportation. Why hasn't Hawley reached out to the community about that? Transportation is a major issue in rural areas. All I ever hear from Hawley is negativity and fighting against Albany. Maybe if he fought FOR something productive our area would see more benefit from Albany. I intend to be more proactive with our elected officials and ask about these types of initiatives I hear about from other regions.

Daniel Norstrand
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Treating angry, antisocial, caged people as slave labor is only going to groom more anger and antisocial thought processes. The things that you mention John are already in place. Like a car stuck in the mud, you can keep trying to push it out after you've been covered in mud, but It would probably be a better plan to lay down some branches etc. to create a foundation in order to get traction.
Our assembly delegate is very busy with pandering photo ops. And as far as growing up on a farm, I would deduce that since his daddy was a very long term politician, that there was very little struggle with life. That is the point of the silver spoon axiom. Mr Hawley has put forth an idea to break off West N.Y. to it's own statehood. A great idea that he has put forth before. It is the only real idea I've seen from him. But just as before, virtually no-one knows of his proposal because he isn't doing anything with/about it. Such a bold proposition is nothing but political theatre if the main advocate isn't willing to HAMMER IT HOME. I'd suggest a legal document to that end to be presented to the como at the end of a march of 2nd amendment rights groups and anti abortion groups, etc.
Dorothy Avery, atta girl... go get em.

John Roach
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Dorothy, I would rather see that $1 million dollars go towards your idea of rural transportation than giving the $1 million to State prisoners.

Howard B. Owens
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John, the idea of getting out of prison early isn't going to be much of motivation if you believe there is nothing for you on the outside except unemployment/low wages, no real opportunity, no chance to get ahead.

Unless and until prison officials address attitudes and mindsets, it doesn't matter much whether we pay prisoners $1 an hour or $10 an hour, though I do agree with Daniel that underpaying them or turning them into slaves is just going to foster the anti-social anger that probably got them in there in the first place.

Scott Chismar
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Great post Dorothy! More people need to open their eyes and realize the awesome conclusion you reached!

Rich Richmond
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Obviously not enough warm milk and cookies. An inmate in Fishkill Correctional for manslaughter strangles female officer. http://www.midhudsonnews.com/News/2019/February/10/Fishkill_inmate_attac...

Daniel Norstrand
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Well no disrespect to women but a woman guard in a male prison is a recipe for disaster. Lucky girl, she got to wake up The system is a failure. Facts are facts. Some people will stick to their ingrained ideas no matter the cost. Until it affects them directly. But then to many crime is functional for those who make money from it. More than 95% of state and federal inmates will be on the streets again. I truly hope that any damage they do affects those with your attitude Rich and not your family or other innocents.

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