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Rochester

New York State To Close Butler Correctional Facility

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Rochester: New York State To Close Butler Correctional Facility
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About 175 criminals are locked behind the metal doors at the Butler Correctional Facility. But Governor Andrew Cuomo proposes to close Butler and three other state prisons.
The move would save taxpayers $30 million a year.

"Getting a call from the governer's office is not a good thing usually," said Robert Oaks, Assemblyman.

According to state correction officials, there's been a 24 percent decrease in the number of inmates. State-wide crime rates have fallen by 15 percent in the last ten years.
But some local officials don't buy it.

"I don't believe that because I see more people going through the court system and getting right back on the street doing more violent crimes," explained David Spickerman, Butler Town Supervisor.

Butler is a rural community with a high poverty rate. Oaks says closing the prison would be a blow.

"It will be devastating if this happens," Oaks said.

About 130 people work at the Butler facility. The Corrections Department says they'll have a year to transition to other facilities nearby. And some, they claim, will even be able to move closer to home.

"It's a little early in the game to know exactly what they plan to do. It's not set in stone they are going to close it," Spickerman said.

The Governor has set the closure deadline for July 2014. The closures will be part of the state's 2014-2015 budget negotiations.

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