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NY Prisons Have As Many As 8,000 Excess Beds

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Prison Cell Block - Credit: AP

Prison Cell Block – Credit: AP

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ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — A review of state records has found that New York’s prisons are running at about 88 percent capacity.

Gannett’s Albany bureau is reporting that state prisons have as many as 8,000 excess beds at the system’s 67 facilities.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo plans to lower the excess bed count by 3,700 to save the state roughly $72 million. Up to six prisons may be closed.

State officials say the number of empty beds can be misleading.

The state Department of Correctional Services said that nearly 2,500 of the open beds are considered “restricted vacancies.” Those beds need to be kept open to move in prisoners who may get sick, have mental-health issues or become a security risk.

Another 1,700 beds must be retained in case of fluctuations in the prison population.


(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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