Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) sharply criticized Gov. Cuomos authorization to close three state prisons, including two within 90 days of the recently passed state budget. These closures will create a cloud of uncertainty for prison employees and threaten public safety across the state.
I am vehemently opposed to this radical proposal aimed not at protecting the citizens of our state but instead at subsidizing the governors runaway tax-and-spend policies in Albany, Hawley said. Perhaps the governor plans to overcrowd state prisons or pardon more inmates to decrease the load other prisons will assume as a result of these closures, but this effort is an unnecessary risk to public safety.
In addition, this proposal also jeopardizes the employment and safety of thousands of prison personnel, including correctional officers, who put their lives on the line every day for the communities in our state. Overcrowded prisons complicate correctional officers jobs and could lead to an increase in violent attacks against these public servants. I will continue my fight against prison closures and ensure the safety of our correctional officers and the public at large is our preeminent concern.