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Report: New York Prisons Have Thousands Of Excess Beds

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A Jail Cell - File / Photo: JEFF HAYNES/AFP/Getty Images

Jail Cell (credit: Jeff Haynes/AFP/Getty Images)

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

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

Gov. Andrew Cuomo planned 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 said 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.

Do you side with Gov. Cuomo’s goal of reducing the number of prison beds? Leave a comment below…

(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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