May 17, 2019
Statement From Assemblyman Phil Palmesano:
Once again, Gov. Cuomo has made a dangerous and reckless decision with plans to close more state prisons, in particular Livingston Correctional Facility. Livingston has a population of 806 inmates utilizing most of their 874 bed capacity. So this decision makes no sense whatsoever.
Gov. Cuomo certainly likes to brag and take credit for the number of correctional facilities he has closed during his tenure. However he has refused to brag and take credit for the dangerous “powder keg” environment these closures, coupled with his other dangerous policies, have created within our state’s correctional institutions.
Even according to his own Department of Corrections’ statistics, inmate violence and assaults are up significantly over the past five years. Inmate-on-staff assaults and inmate-on-inmate assaults are both up over 50% (645 to 973 and 767 to 1,164 respectively).
Before we even discuss closing even one correctional facility we should first eliminate the thousands of double bunks and double cells and finally end the dangerous and inhumane practice of double bunking and double celling inmates. These conditions are unacceptable and incite violence in our prisons.
Make no mistake about it, the dangerous and rising violence in our state correctional facilities falls solely on the lap of Gov. Andrew Cuomo.