Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) today criticized Gov. Cuomo’s new proposal to close several more unspecified prisons as part of the 2020-21 Executive Budget. Hawley, backing concerns of the New York State Correctional Officers and Police Benevolent Association (NYSCOBA), chastised the governor for continuing to erode public safety by proposing to close more prisons.
“Whether it’s staying mum while bail-less crime laws put violent offenders back on the streets, supporting a pay raise for incarcerated felons, giving tablets to prisoners, voting rights for parolees, granting driver’s licenses to illegals or closing more prisons, this governor is on the wrong side of virtually every public safety issue imaginable and single-handily putting the public at risk,” Hawley said.
“We are going to see more riots and more inmate attacks on corrections officers, as double bunking and overfilled prisons cause more violence. I stand firmly against these prison closures and will advocate against any more prison closures as budget talks move forward,” Hawley continued.
The governor cited a rapid decline in the state prison population and a changing economic development strategy focused less on prisons as the driving economic factor in his proposal. Gov. Cuomo closed Livingston Correctional Facility and Lincoln Correctional Facility last year.
“The members of NYSCOBA are some of the bravest and most resilient law enforcement officers our state has, and increasing inmate populations at maximum security establishments puts them in more danger,” Hawley finished. “Our NYSCOBA officers are crucial to keeping our prisons safe and orderly but also protecting the surrounding community, and I will always stand with them against perilous and misguided proposals like these.”