Willard Drug Treatment Campus is among the state correctional facilities that will be closing next year.

Willard Drug Treatment Campus is among the state correctional facilities that will be closing next year.

 

Willard Drug Treatment Campus in Seneca County is among the state correctional facilities that will be closing next year.

Word came down from state officials that in March 2022, Willard, along with several other facilities across the state would be closed.

DOCCS said in a statement that the closure came due to a lack of incarcerated individuals. However, Gov. Kathy Hochul had expressed interest in keeping drug treatment campuses in tact. It’s unclear what prompted the state to close Willard, as opposed to other correctional facilities.

“New York State continues to be at the forefront of some of the nation’s most progressive criminal justice reforms by spearheading smart and fair policies that have resulted in a drastic decline in the incarcerated population,” the statement from DOCCS reads.

Officials said as of November 8 the total incarcerated population in state correctional facilities is a little over 31,000. It’s more than 12,000 fewer inmates than the state had in prisons on January 1, 2020.

“This is more than a 56% decline in population since the Department’s high of 72,773 in 1999,” DOCCS continued.

The Department says a review of operations took place at its 50 facilities. The review was based on a variety of factors, including physical infrastructure, program offerings, facility security level, specialized medical and mental health services, proximity to other facilities in the area to minimize the impact to staff, potential re-use options and areas of the state where prior closures have occurred in order to minimize the impact to communities.

DOCCS says they will work closely with various bargaining units to provide staff with opportunities for priority placement via voluntary transfers, as well as priority employment at other facilities or state agencies as result of the formal Civil Service process.

No layoffs are expected because of the closure, DOCCS said in the statement.

Ogdensburg Correctional Facility, Moriah Shock Incarceration Correctional Facility, Willard Drug Treatment Campus, Southport Correctional Facility, Downstate Correctional Facility and Rochester Correctional Facility will all officially be closed on March 10, 2022.

Editor’s Note: This article was originally published on FingerLakes1.com

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