Hochul signs law banning double-bunking in prisons
Kate Lisa reports for Johnson Newspaper Corp. that Gov. Kathy. Hochul signed a bill Nov. 3 prohibiting double bunking in New York's 50 correctional facilities. “Double-bunking is an outdated and dangerous practice that has absolutely no place in our current prison system,” Assemblyperson D. Billy Jones said Nov. 4 in a statement. “For 20 years, I worked as a corrections officer and experienced firsthand the stress and painstaking hard work this job entails.” Jones also thinks the new law will keep correctional officers safer, while the New York State Correctional Officers & Police Benevolent Association, the union that represents the state’s 18,000 corrections officers, is more interested in the jobs they believe the law will save. “We’re hoping a well spaced-out inmate population will be a much safer model and safer working conditions where I don’t think you’d have to close any facility,” NYSCOPBA President Michael B. Powers said Nov. 4. “We deem this as quite a victory, and we’re hopeful, quite frankly.” Former Gov. Andrew Cuomo, and now current Gov. Hochul, have planned to close some of the state's prisons this year. The 2021-22 state budget permits the governor to permanently close facilities with a 90-day notice through the end of March 2022, so Hochul faces a Dec. 31 deadline to announce closures. Read more about this story in the Livingston County News.