Lopez Joins Assembly Minority Task Force Forum On Workforce Issues In Corrections

Supports Call for Grassroots Decision Making
June 2, 2009
Assemblyman Pete Lopez (R, C, I – Schoharie) today joined Assembly Minority Brian M. Kolb (R, C, I – Canandaigua) and other members at a forum in Albany to discuss workforce issues in the correctional system. The forum gave Assemblyman Lopez and his colleagues an opportunity to hear from professionals that work in corrections on how to improve working conditions, make prisons safer and more cost-effective to run.

“New York’s correctional system faces many challenges from conflicts in state leadership over the role of our prisons to frustrations voiced by correction officers regarding top-heavy administration and wasteful spending. It’s become clear that the workforce needs to be part of a process of creative problem solving, rather than just a statistic. It’s about time that Albany takes a hard look at our correctional system from this perspective,” said Assemblyman Lopez, who represents a district including seven counties that contain nine of the state’s correctional facilities.

Testifying at the forum were professionals from the New York State Correction Officers and Police Benevolent Association as well as the Public Employees Federation. Despite the fact that the state’s maximum security facilities are currently operating at 123% of capacity, the State Department of Correctional Services plans to close three camps, including Chenango County’s Camp Pharsalia, by July 1, 2009, along with seven more by October 1, 2009, including Eastern New York Correctional Facility located in Ulster County.

For more information or to share your concerns about the state’s correctional system or the closure of one of the local facilities in the 127th Assembly District, which includes the Coxsackie, Green, Hudson, Summit Shock Incarceration, Eastern New York, Shawangunk, Ulster and Wallkill correctional facilities and Camp Pharsalia, please contact Assemblyman Lopez’s Catskill office at 45 Five Mile Woods Road, Suite 2, Catskill, NY 12414 or e-mail him at lopezp@assembly.state.ny.us.