Union rep discusses downside of closing Downstate Correctional Facility
The Downstate Correctional Facility in Fishkill is set to close in March.
A total of 600 inmates will be transferred to other prisons or jails. The facility's 600 employees will need jobs elsewhere.
Chris Moreau represents thousands of people within the state's correction officers union. About 500 of the union members work at that facility.
"The members are at a loss as well. They can't understand how one of the busiest reception centers in the state is going to be closed," he says.
The state expects no layoffs as staff will be offered a transfer.
Moreau argues more is at stake.
"And we're going to displace 600 families, which is going to pull away not only them but impact the local businesses that rely on their patronage," he says.
Those who live near the prison are seeing the closure differently, like Pat, who asked we not show her face.
"And I think it's going to be a positive thing for me to sell my house in the future, you know, without a prison across the street," says Pat.
Downstate Correctional is within county Legislator Doug McHoul's district, so he's heard from some of the workers there.
"Essentially they're left with the choice of uprooting their family and figuring out a second career after having spent many years dedicated in the Department of Corrections," says McHoul.