Cuomo shutters 7 state prisons, 2 in NYC

July 01, 2011 11:51AM

Two New York City prisons are among seven state prisons that will be shut down to accommodate Governor Andrew Cuomo’s state budget, Cuomo announced yesterday. The Fulton Correctional Facility at 1511 Fulton Avenue in the Claremont section of the Bronx is one of four minimum-security prisons set to close, and the Arthur Kill Correctional Facility on Staten Island at 2911 Arthur Kill Road is one of three medium-security institutions prepared to shut its doors. Overall, the closure of seven prisons will save the state $184 million over the next two years. Cuomo has targeted closing correctional facilities since taking office with a $10 billion budget gap, especially since the state’s prison population has declined 22 percent, to 56,000 inmates since 1999. Even with the closures, the New York State prison system has more than 62,000 beds. Cuomo also set aside $50 million in economic development financing for communities affected by the shuttered prisons. In a statement, Cuomo said the prison system “has been too inefficient and too costly, with far more capacity than what is needed.” However, the New York State Correctional Officers and Police Benevolent Association, which opposed the closings reportedly said the move, which is the largest closing of prisons in the state’s history, presents a threat to the safety of the prison system. — Adam Fusfeld