US NY: Editorial: A Battle Over Prisons (Letters)
Found: 2

1 US NY: Editorial: A Battle Over PrisonsMon, 12 Feb 2007
Source:New York Times (NY)          Area:New York Lines:49 Added:02/12/2007

Gov. Eliot Spitzer of New York took on one of the state's most powerful special-interest groups when he proposed a commission to determine which of the state's expensive and underused prisons should be closed. He is in for a tough battle, but it is well worth fighting.

Even a modest closings program like the one proposed by Gov. George Pataki could have saved the state nearly $75 million in the first three years, freeing up money for schools, health care and mass transit. But Mr. Pataki was blocked by the powerful correction officers' union and by state lawmakers who reap campaign contributions from the union and early do its bidding.

[continues 224 words]

2 US NY: PUB LTE: Spitzer's Prison FightSun, 18 Feb 2007
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Papa, Anthony Area:New York Lines:35 Added:02/20/2007

To the Editor:

"A Battle Over Prisons" (editorial, Feb. 12):

We need a smart political leader like Gov. Eliot Spitzer to correct the waste of scarce tax dollars spent on maintaining half-empty institutions.

These prisons have become cash cows for the correction officers' union and political leaders in rural upstate communities that house these facilities.

Governor Spitzer is clearly looking at the economic waste generated by the archaic prison-industrial complex. His efforts to substitute a smarter economic approach should be applauded and given time to bear fruit.

Governor Spitzer's policy will lead to a better functioning criminal justice system that will be more cost-efficient for the people of New York.

Anthony Papa

The writer is a communications specialist for the Drug Policy Alliance.

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