New York Assembly Republicans gathered at the state Capitol Wednesday along with state prison staff to speak out against the possibility of prison closures.
Opponents to these changes have safety concerns with consolidating prison populations, arguing the focus should be on increasing staffing and support.
The state points to staffing levels and decreasing populations as potential reasons for closures.
"These proposed actions will only worsen the safety and security of our communities, other inmates, corrections and civilian employees that work and live within our prison system," Republican Assemblyman Chris Tague, R-Schoharie said.
"Folks, staffing is a problem in every agency across the state, but instead of proposing closures, why don't we propose ways to bolster recruitments and retention?" said Randi DiAntonio, vice president of the New York State Public Employees Federation.
The state Division of Budget projects closures could save $77 million in the 2025 fiscal year and $128 million the following year.