NY: Drop the Rock group also wants to drop some prisons and focus on sustainable economic development in NY State
via The Real Cost of Prisons Weblog by lois on 3/22/10
- "Caitlin Dunklee, coordinator of the Drop the Rock campaign, said, "New York can no longer use prisons as an economic stimulus plan. Warehousing low-income people of color to create jobs in upstate communities is unconscionable. State leaders must develop alternative and sustainable economic development in communities which have grown dependent on incarceration."
- "Now, using correctional facilities as an economic engine around the state was always bad policy, right?" he asked. "So we also have to fight to make more real economic development throughout the entire state. It's good for New York state, and it'll be a way to show that building and filling prisons is not sustainable economic development." (Senate Health Committee Chairman Thomas Duane, D-Manhattan)
- Chris Leo, legislative director of the New York State Correctional Officers and Police Benevolent Association, disagrees with the projected costs of the construction projects, and said that the numbers may be skewed in favor of closing the prisons. "Each year when they propose the budget … capital improvements costs are greatly inflated to make that point," he said.
- State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services Commissioner Karen Carpenter-Palumbo also spoke in favor of the closings. She said, "80 percent of the people that are in prison today are there because of a drug or alcohol addiction. Should they be there? No, they should be in treatment," she said. "So we're building beds, we're making sure that the outpatient services are available. The treatment works." LINK