Petition Closed

NY Governor Cuomo wants to close Oneida Correctional Facility located in Rome, NY. Oneida Correctional is located in a small upstate NY city that can not afford another economic slam to their community. The city of Rome and Oneida County has lost many high paying employers, Griffiss Air Force Base, Rite Aid Distribution Center, Home Depot, ConMed and Rome Wire Mill. Many businesses are struggling and many more will close. This facility is at 80% capacity, contains the central pharmacy, state FPC and long term protective custody unit. This facility also holds the infirmary for both Oneida and Mohawk.  It is also the receiving facility for all inmates coming into the hub.  How is having to rebuild these two things in another facility actually saving tax payer money???  We still have to pay for inmates regardless of what facility they are in.  Also Oneida shares water and sewer with Mohawk as well as a shared power source.  What about all fiber optic cable that was just run?   What about all of the improvements to the facility over the past couple of years; ones that are still ongoing? What about the Oneida CERT team that protected our state capital after 9/11 and came to rescue to help out Mohawk when they has a riot? Oneida and Mohawk both sit on properties that the state owns free and clear, but yet is willing to pay to lease land that numerous other facilities are located on.  The closing of this facility would not only impact the city of Rome but numerous surrounding small communities as well. Closing this facility will not save any tax payer money or state money. Odds are it will cost the state money. Oneida Correctional needs to remain open in order to provide ecomonic stability in an area that is already in economic jeopardy. Please withdraw the order to close this facility.

Letter to
U.S. House of Representatives
U.S. Senate
President of the United States
I am writing to you today to please help us Keep Oneida Correctional Facility open!

I know you have other more pressing issues, but you are our last resort. You have said right along that we need to work towards preserving jobs and local economies, with Oneida being closed Rome will be in dire economic jeopardy. We know that you plan on asking Gov. Cuomo to be your running mate next year and feel that he would listen to you. Despite asking numerous times, he won't tell us why he chose Oneida over other facilities. Oneida is one of the states largest and best run facilities in the state. Oneida consistently scores a 99+ on accredidation.

Please talk to him and tell him to keep Oneida open. Consolidate services to the Oneida facility since it is centrally located. This alone would save the state a lot of money. There are numerous other facilities in the state that are in poor condition and a few that even violate state laws. For example, Watertown CF; the baracks are still wooden and the facility is falling apart.

With announcement of the prison closings in New York State we have petitioned the state to keep the Oneida Correctional Facility located in rural upstate Rome, NY open. The closings were to be geographically balanced, but 3 out of the 7 closed were all in one hub.

We understand the need for New York State to save money. Out of the 7 facilities slated for closure Oneida is the only one that is connected to another facility. The Oneida and Mohawk facilities share the buildings and the grounds of the former New York State School. Closing this facility will cost tax payers money not save money.

The costs that will occur to close Oneida are the following:
- Oneida and Mohawk share the same back fence with no perimeter road separating the two facilities. This will be a security issue. A road will have to be built and fences will have to be moved and built; not saving tax payer money.
- Mohawk uses the Oneida facility infirmary for medical stays because they have no infirmary on their grounds to isolate inmate's medical conditions. If Oneida closes an infirmary would have to be built at Mohawk, again not saving tax payer money.
- Oneida handles buses loaded with inmates in transit on a daily basis. This includes holding cells called Bull Pens to handle all incoming and outgoing inmates. Mohawk, Marcy and Mid-State Correctional Facilities have no Bull Pens to handle this amount of inmates for transit. A large area and Bull Pens will have to be built at one of the other facilities to accommodate the incoming and outgoing transits; again not saving tax payer money.
- Oneida and Mohawk share the same power house and heating system. This was built for maximum efficiency - saving tax payer money. When one facility is shut down the efficiency is lost. Work will have to be done to the power house and heating system to make it more efficient to run just one facility; costing tax payer money.
- The Cook Chill is run by Oneida. A new one will have to be built elsewhere or new gates and Sally Port will be needed in order for Mohawk to run it, costing tax payer money.
- The buildings at the Oneida facility are historical. There may be issues on what can and cannot be done with these buildings. There are high security concerns that Mohawk and Oneida share. These concerns would jeopardize Mohawks security if Oneida closes. Blueprints to both facilities should be looked into. Another added cost to tax payers if Oneida closes.
- All of Mohawks communication lines are controlled from Oneida. Lines will once again have to be re-run; costing tax payer money.
-All of Mohawks sewer lines run through Oneida. If these lines were to plug, break or freeze sewage would run through the basements of Oneida; again costing millions in tax payer dollars.
- Oneida contains the central pharmacy, state FPC and long term protective custody unit. Re-building these in another location will cost millions of tax payer dollars.

Oneida Correctional is located in a small upstate NY city that can not afford another economic slam to their community. The city of Rome and Oneida County has lost many high paying employers, Griffiss Air Force Base, Empire Aero, US Air, Rite Aid Distribution Center, Chicago Pneumatic, Lockheed Martin, Oneida Limited, Home Depot, ConMed, EMI and Rome Cable. Many businesses are struggling and many more will close.

This facility is at 80% capacity according to state figures. This figure is inaccurate. Many of the 20% were removed from the facility so that further upgrades to the facility could be done. Prior to this the facility was near capacity.

We still have to pay for inmates regardless of what facility they are in.

What about the millions of dollars spent on improvements to the facility over the past couple of years; ones that are still ongoing? Things such as, new roofs, new windows, new doors, new inmate bathrooms and showers and new kitchen and dining area. Just to name a few.
Are we just going to throw all of our hard earned money away like that???

What about the Oneida CERT team that protected our state capital after 9/11?

Oneida and Mohawk both sit on properties that the state owns free and clear, but yet is willing to pay to lease land that numerous other facilities are located on. We keep hearing they will find a way for the facility to be reused, but it cannot be. The facility sits in front of another facility, no one will want to put a business there. There are two building that make up Oneida that are on the historic register, again nothing can be done to these buildings. There is a cemetary inside the fences at Oneida, so again nothing can be done to the grounds.

The closing of this facility would not only impact the city of Rome but numerous surrounding small communities as well that struggle to survive. Closing this facility will not save any tax payer money or state money. It will cost the state money.

Families will be torn apart, moms and dads sent away to work elsewhere leaving their families behind. Working relationships shattered. The guards and civilians at Oneida are a family. They know that they can depend on each other in any situation that arises; personal or work related.

How are the families supposed to continue paying for their homes while now having to work another "house" into their budgets, leave family and children behind? Many families are going to lose their homes.

It has been said many times that there is worry over whether or not there will be room for all of our guards being "displaced". Our guards have served the state well and have looked out for the publics’ safety. Is this how they are going to be repaid?

The Ritchie Bill was passed. Now there are approximately 1000 inmates housed in county facilities that will be moved into state facilities. Why not fill Oneida with some of these to fill it to capacity?

There are other options to consider as well - convert Oneida to a max facility to alleviate the overcrowding or merge Mohawk and Oneida to cut overhead and administrative costs further.

The following are just a few comments made by petitioners:

"Governor Cuomo, you are strongly urged to take a really close look at the blueprints for both Oneida and Mohawk. There are certain security issues you should be aware of if one or the other were to close. Oneida needs to remain open!"

“Oneida Correctional Facility is where my brother is being held for his first & last time ever as an inmate. My family has been through such a hardship, the drive for us to visit is 51/2 hours, my mother is ill, my sister has a severe back problem & his teenage children don't get to see their dad enough as it is. This facility has been a safe environment so far & my family is sick at the idea that my brother may be moved even further or worse to a facility that he will be in danger. He is not the typical inmate, his house was being robbed & he fired a weapon into the air as his indictment clearly states. We as a family unit are ignorant as to how the criminal system works & feel that we already have been run over & now this. I have to say if money needs to be saved maybe all the inmates who have been sentenced 15+ yrs. through to life sentences should be housed in one facility being that they don't give a crap about anything or anyone and are extremely dangerous which makes it nearly impossible for other inmates to complete their time safely & fill up Oneida Correctional Facility with inmates that deserve a safe place to finish their sentences. Please please do not close this facility!”

“I just can't believe that the governor of NYS would make a decision to close Oneida Correctional Facility to save money without even leaving his chair to come and visit our facility to see for himself how our facility looks, operates, & performs without hardly any problems. He could come and visit and see what our concerns & opinions are and see that the facility is in good shape. Just a few improvements since I’ve been there for the past ten years. New roofs on all buildings, new doors & windows in 19 bldg. new sewer system throughout the whole facility, all new pavement & some sidewalks were replaced, a lot of work has been done to the infirmary, elevator, electrical, x-ray equipment, etc. The gym has all new metal siding the floors have been all redone, the sally port (truck trap) all new gates & fencing, some dorms have been remodeled, new showers, painted entire dorm etc. buildings 16,18,20,21,23 have all new entrance stairs into the buildings including all new stairs inside the buildings. There’s been work completed to inmate yards. The visit process building in the front of the facility has been all remodeled. The city of Rome just put a whole new road in front of the facility. New windows in the tier office. We have a brand new (a couple of years old) state of the art kitchen & two dining areas (all stainless steel & ceramic floors etc. Plus several new trucks for maintenance & several new & nearly new vans for inmate transportation. We have all new fiber optics phone lines etc. Some of the buildings have had the brick work redone & pointed. They have replaced all the huge electrical voltage boxes for each building. Brand new copper roof on the power house. Fairly new food production center &building 50 (offices) plus two new storage building (huge). A brand new fire truck. I could go on & on about all the new improvements we have had over the years. Not to mention the programs that we have drug & alcohol (ART, ASAT, ARAT). Plus protective custody, SOCTP, sex offender program, (federally funded). We have inmate buses come from up north & down state with inmates to our facility to disburse them to other facilities in the hub. No other facility in the hub has the ability to do this. Not to mention that we are centrally located in the state, that’s why we have all these things going for us. I personally and everyone i talk to cannot see the reasoning behind the closing of the Oneida correctional facility. This facility is in no need of any major repairs just your average up close this facility the governor will be throwing millions of tax payers’ dollars away. And if this is the way the governor is going to save our state money. I will probably be looking for another state to live.”

“I am not writing this to you sir as a Correctional Officer, but as a scared father. You see it took me SEVEN years to get back home at Oneida Correctional Facility. Please sir, consider not only the economic impact on the local economy, but also the hardship on our families. I understand that tough decisions have to be made however I believe that you know deep down sir that Oneida meets none of the criteria to close the prisons that you set. There are those who believe this is politics, because of the way Mr. Valesky voted and also switched to an independent, and to tell you the truth I don't care at this point I just can't stand the thought of telling my two young boys that I have to once again leave them when really there is no good reason for me to give them. I am a registered Republican, but I was never ashamed to admit it until now that I voted for you, because I thought and still think you have morals. So please sir reconsider your decision to close us down because 60 days is not enough time for our families to get ready for such a large life changing event. Also one last thought, did you ever consider asking us Officers at Oneida for any type of concessions?”

“We can't afford to lose any more jobs is our area!”

“NY needs the Oneida Correctional Facility.”

“Best group of people I've worked with. Ever.”

“As a former NYer I really hope you keep the Correctional facility open. NY has had enough economic hardships and this will cause only worse problems. Many people in Oneida County work there including some friends of mine. Please keep this place open. Too many people and communities need the money it brings in.”

“Instead of laying people off try offering an early retirement incentive. We already have enough people on unemployment.”

“Help save my Dads Correctional Facility”

“Take a moment to think of yourself and your family! We as a community need to work together in order to keep jobs in Rome, and the surrounding areas. Over crowed prisons is a problem already. closing one down to over fill another is not the answer. First our schools and other core economic corner stones has been taken away. this may be the straw that breaks the camel’s back!”

“It would be a huge detriment if this prison closed down. More people out of work and more criminals not being watched as they should be. Why hurt our community any more than it has already been through.”

“Neither our city nor our county can handle any more closings or job losses.”

“My father is a correctional officer at Oneida. Please help him stay at home and keep his job.”

“Instead of closing Oneida C.F., it would save transportation costs if they closed other facilities that are constantly busing inmates to the county and relocate them in Oneida. Since Oneida & Mohawk already share utilities, if anything, they could consolidate the administration buildings of Oneida & Mohawk, providing the staff available backup they need. I don't understand why they just spent millions of dollars reconstructing & building a new mental health sex offender building between Midstate & Marcy Correctional Facilities, with all offices and dorm rooms entirely furnished and ready to go, but then leave it empty. They also still intend to go ahead with millions of dollars of construction to the Central NY Psych Center just to move the entrance, but would prefer to displace hundreds of workers and crush the economy of an entire county that has already taken a beating.”

“The taxpayers should also know about current repairs that are being done at Oneida CF just in time to tear the facility down. How are new windows , new roofs new garages new mess hall, new salt shake and new elevators going to look when they are in a pile after they demolish the buildings!”

“Well when me and my mother heard about this we were heart broken and devastated. Because my brother was serving time there for almost 2 years and over that time we have made a lot of friends with the Correction Officers. And would HATE to have this happen to them. Have them lose their houses, have to move, and deal with the stress that this could bring. Please SAVE OCF!”

“Closing this facility will financially destroy the families of the officers who work at Oneida, Keep our families together we would rather pay the taxes”

“Rome and Oneida County have many economic problems and we really do not need another major loss to our community. It is hard to know what it is like living in our small community until you live here Gov. Cuomo. Come stay in our area for an "extended" period of time and see what it is like, out of the luxuries that you are accustomed to. Swap places with someone barely making ends meet and then take away the only source of income they have... it would be interesting to see how someone of your stature would survive in an area with little economic stability. I think it would be a huge wake up call. Easy to give orders and sign on dotted lines when you live outside of the box. Please reconsider your order to close the Oneida Correctional Facility... we need employers here for our children's futures... everyone wonders why the population keeps plummeting in Oneida County? Well, take the employers away... and all of the young people leave the state to find employment and the older, retired folks living on pensions and social security leave because they can't afford to live in NY with the high taxes we have... take a look at Oneida County's average household income and then check on the taxes we pay... something is not right. Please Gov. Cuomo, reconsider...”

“We understand that New York State has a budget deficit problem but to close the Oneida Correctional Facility doesn't seem practical. If there is going to be consolidation, it should be at the Oneida Correctional Facility being that it is located in the center of the state. We would think that there would be Federal funding available to save the correctional facility and all of the jobs associated with the facility.”

“I do not live in the Utica/Rome area any longer simply because there was not enough opportunity there in my husbands line of work. However, I do have family that will be directly affected by the decision to close this facility which is why I am asking for reconsideration and am signing this petition. I have watched my niece be a single mom for many years while her husband was traveling downstate to work and know of many other families suffering the same situation. Please for the sake of families and an area already hit hard with economic loss, PLEASE reconsider the closure of this facility!”

“People are going to lose their jobs-just not officers-Rome stores-restaurants--why do they not make older officers retire????? That would solve many money problems”

"Creating more job loss for New Yorkers is not the solution to the State's problems! This is simply creating more problems for New York State!”

“There were considerations put into place by former Governors that would constitute keeping a facility open, and Oneida has both 1) A working and functional ASAT drug and alcohol program, and 2) A Federally funded SOCTP (Sex offender) rehabilitation program, the second largest in the state. Pick up the paper, any day of the week and tell me what you see. Every day we see more and more Sex offenders, and now the Meth labs and 'shake n' bake' labs are being found everywhere. This is what we are there to do, incarcerate and rehabilitate these individuals, and Oneida is the place where this happens every day. The motto of our facility is "ONEIDA--MAKING A DIFFERENCE", and now let's talk about the 500 good paying jobs....Officers; Sergeants; Lieutenants..counselors...teachers. Jobs that pay for local goods and services from this area that has been hit so hard over the last ten years from so much loss. WE buy cars from local dealers, WE pay taxes in localities, WE buy lawnmowers, washers and dryers, motorcycles, and WE hire local contractors to work on our houses that we own and PAY TAXES ON. Think of the long term losses that will occur if we are forced to move outside this hub....this money will be spent in other counties, not here where we live and hoped to stay.”

“There has to be a better way to reduce the prison inventory without devastating areas that need jobs. You have worked hard to balance this budget situation, Governor, and need to help areas like the Utica-Rome area while they are struggling.”

“A part of this tragedy that does not get mentioned is the officers who live in the area, established roots and have worked endless hour/years and now have their lives in turmoil. They have very little notice, no idea where they will be working or on what schedule. They will be affecting the seniority at the facility they will be transferred to and not welcomed there. To be so displaced has to affect the morale of the entire workforce. The State has poured millions of dollars into the Oneida facility with special housing and specialized inmate needs. This seems such a waste of taxpayers’ dollars. What will happen to the facility now? I agree with withdrawing the order to close this facility!”

“Maybe if you want to save money you might think about: *Cancelling inmate cable TV including their Showtime and HBO channels (Yes I know firsthand inmates in NYS have these things) I can't even afford Showtime or HBO and only have Dish's family programming ($24/ month)! *And hey if you want a collage education, go commit a crime, get convicted and go to a NYS prison and you can get a collage education FREE of charge! Listen I can go on and on but I know that closing Oneida CF is not going to save the state money.”

“How it is the North Country in NY had no closures?”

“Keep the prison open and start collecting some of the back taxes owed (land & cigarette). Why not legalize gambling?”

“Please keep Oneida Correctional Facility open. There aren’t a lot of jobs around here, and this will be a big blow to all the families around here that work at Oneida. If it closes, I don't know what Rome is going to do. It's already a ghost town as it is!”

“Prisoners are a tax burden whether in state or county facilities. Why pack the county jails, when the state facilities can handle the load. Don't punish the state workers for the mistakes of our politicians. The people who made the mess should be the ones suffering, not the workers who serve and protect this state.”

“The closing of Oneida is a devastating blow to this community and families of the facility. Oneida correctional has the reputation of being the best jail both for control and safety. This safety factor effects both inmate and staff. I can't tell you how many times my husband has come home and he has told me that some new officer can’t believe how smoothly this facility runs both involving cleanliness and enforcement of the rules. The governor has no conception of the turmoil he is about to send some of the best officers in the state into. Oneida has experienced supervisors who are not afraid to support their officers and want to do the job. When the rules are enforced and the convicts know they will be enforced this makes a safe work environment for everyone including inmates. Why doesn't the governor come out to Oneida and look for himself?”

"I am from Mid Orange CF another jail you have chosen to close. Please look closely at what you are doing to all the lives you have chosen to alter or affect.”

“NYS has spent millions of dollars in the last couple of years updating OCF. We have new windows, new roofs, new elevator in medical building and modern x-ray equipment, just to name a few. A very well run facility that has never had a riot or inmate uprising. It is on state owned land that no one else will want to buy as it is attached to another correctional facility.”

"I am very unhappy about your decision to close Oneida Correctional Facility! I do vote and pay taxes in this state and I'm concerned that this will not save money. This is not a good move for our state."

“This is just adding to the poor condition of our State and Country......OK, let's close everything and let the people pay!!!! Or not get paid because they lost their jobs. If people lose their jobs how are they going to pay your taxes, or your high prices of gas, then it rebounds on everything(delivery charges, food goes up, shipping charges) come on keep it open!!! It's very scary knowing MORE will lose their jobs and unemployment will rise and families needing assistance just to eat and the State and the people will be paying again, millions more involved...Wake up, it's a vicious circle.”

“Please look closely at ALL factors, look beyond the devastating effect to the employees at the facility. I'm no expert however, it appears that this will not accomplish the fiscal savings that are needed and may actually end up costing the taxpayers more in the long run. Among some questions are, will more money be needed to upgrade older facilities that are left open? Isn't delivery/transportation of prisoners & products more feasible to be centrally located at the Oneida site? Oneida County and central New York have been hard hit for the last 12-15 years with loss of jobs, the trickle-down effect continues to hurt everyone. Please go through the data again and reconsider this decision.”

“My husband and I grew up in that area my husband and my family is mostly all there. This would really devastate that area even more than it already is.”

“You closed the airbase in Rome but left the empty housing which killed the economy in Rome. Now you want to close the prison. Maybe you should get rid of Attica. The prison was sold but we pay rent to the owners??? This doesn't make sense now does it? If we are paying rent to house prisoners and you claim there aren't enough prisoners to keep the Oneida facility open then why not stop paying rent and move those prisoners to the Oneida facility! How much money would that save? Why don't you put a call into Sheriff Joe and ask him how to handle this situation before you put so many out of work?”

“I don't pretend to know the numbers involved, etc. I'm not going to do bashing regarding the first Cuomo regime and now this, although the same tactics are involved that's going to bring NY to its knees. This decision needs to be reconsidered. Yes, NY is in dire straits, but the solution is not taking jobs away from the people that did not put NY in this situation to begin with. Please reconsider.”

“No matter what facilities close, someone will be unhappy. But I cannot understand the rationale for closing OCF. The property is of no value. It will sit idle. Millions were just spent to replace the elevator in the medical building, the majority of the windows were replaced, and workers are continuing to replace the doors in the SHU. Do the tax payers know how much the property Bayview correctional facility is on could be sold for?! Population numbers may be down now, but that is temporary due to changes in the drug laws. Inmates had their sentences reduced, and they are not be violated by their POs. What happens to the numbers when these former inmates commit new crimes? We all know the majority of released inmates will return to prison. I don't think central NY can survive another economic blow. Please reconsider closing OCF!”

“As the wife of an Oneida Corr Facility CO, I urge you to reconsider this closing, as Oneida is the central key to all four local facilities. The hardships that families will have to endure financially will not come easily; the added burden of extra gas, thruway tolls, and housing will potentially contribute to the loss of people's primary housing.”

“I find it convenient that state numbers report that Oneida's inmate population capacity was only at 80%. What they are not telling you is that our inmate population was purposely drained and sent elsewhere so we could re-model dorms with tax payers money. Our prisons dorms have been re-modeled, our buildings have new roofs, windows, and doors. This facility is bought and paid for, and in excellent shape. What this tells you is that, our state made an investment in our prison. The money was spent wisely, and if you look at our facility, it shows. We do not meet the logical criteria for a closure.”

“As the daughter of an Oneida Correctional Facility officer, I hope you will reconsider closing the prison. We've been through enough as a community with the closure of Griffiss Air Force Base. We can't afford another.”

“There is no logical reason for Oneida having been targeted for closure. The amount of taxpayer money that has been invested into the functioning and structural aspects of the facility will be a total waste of previous MILLIONS of dollars. It continues as we speak, with construction contracts STILL being filled, despite closure orders. The Oneida Hub has lost 4 out of 8 prisons (50%), more than any hub in the state.”

“It’s bad enough that an officer already spent 6 years downstate away from his family. Now faces the very real possibility of having to travel again. Being away from 2 small children at critical years of their lives is the hardest part to imagine. Not even taking into consideration the added expenses and danger involved. This attempt to save tax payer dollars seems extremely harsh and not very well thought out. This area has already suffered tremendous blows to our economy and tax base. Why reduce that even further? Eliminating and/or displacing jobs should be the very last straw. These are the very people that fuel our local economy. Is there any doubt why people leave NYS?”

“The tax payers of Oneida County and New York State should be aware of their money that will be wasted as a result of Oneida Correctional Facility closing. The Numbers I'm about to print will be rough numbers but none the less the truth of wasted tax payers money. In just the past 2 years Over $2 million dollars have been spent on new windows for the Special Housing Units, Bldg 19 and The Administration bldg. Over $1 million dollars for a new Sally Port Gate. Another $1 million for 2 new pole barns and a new salt shack. Just recently a $1 million dollar replacement was done on the elevator system in the Medical bldg. New roofs on 18, 20 and 21 bldgs in the past 2 years. New fiberoptics ran throughout the whole facility. Plus! Right now as the facility has been ordered to close we are having brand new steel doors replaced in our SHU, bldg 19!! Is this where you want your tax money to go!?!? Just a pile of your hard earned money all to waste! The Oneida County Historical Society should also be contacted. It’s a historical landmark!!! It cannot be torn down.”

“Closing a facility that is centrally located in New York. Contains a regional Pharmacy that needs to be relocated, costing millions. The employees that work at Oneida live here, downstate facilities are filled with transferring employees that are paid a downstate differential, not to mention that they cannot afford to live there. If the governor is truly interested in saving money and efficiency perhaps he should look into the 46 commissions and authorities that New York currently has.”

“The impact on CNY would be devastating for many families including my own. Please consider the implications on an already depressed area and those families forced with some tough decisions while forced to relocate at the drop of a hat with no additional compensation. Very saddened to hear this, especially when crime is high and we need prisons. What message does that send if we let the smaller offenders out because we can't afford to house them. When there is no consequence, please realize that crime will increase. Please keep Oneida open!!!! Thank you.”

“Can you just please keep this open!! It needs to stay! So many people are losing their jobs! And then some have to leave their families to go get a new one! or in other words "start over" why take that away!! My Father works there. Please don’t close it!”

“Our area has been enormously affected by the closing of Griffiss AFB in the 90's, the layoffs and restructure of Oneida Silversmiths in the early 2000's, the loss of the Rite Aid Distribution center, Home Depot, Kmart, and numerous others. We need this employer for the health of our communities! Please consider other options.”

“The closure of Oneida Correctional Facility is not the right course of action to save the tax payers money. This facility shares several services with another facility and has had several major improvements in the last few years that have cost the tax payers tens of millions of dollars. I urge the Governor to reconsider this closure and look at other options including the combining of Oneida and Mohawk facilities.”

“Closing Oneida does not make sense. Why not combine Oneida and Mohawk instead?”

“Closing Oneida will cost millions of dollars and it would cause a huge security risk for Mohawk facility. Rome will never get any money from the state for closing because no business or anything else can boarder the Mohawk facility with the way the buildings currently lay.”

“Governor Cuomo, You have already heard how much money has gone into Oneida Correctional Facility in the last few years for upgrades and improvements, leaving this facility empty would be more of taxpayer's money just thrown away! Oneida Correctional is run very efficiently and has had no major problems since it's opening in 1988. This facility hosts the largest Sex Offender program in New York State. Rome has lost so much business over the years, such as Petibone Corp., Rome Cable, General Cable, Spargo Wire, Rome Manufacturing, Griffiss Air Force Base and just recently Rite Aid Warehouse. How much more can our community take! Please reconsider the closing of Oneida Correctional Facility.”

“Governor, I am a strong supporter of you and your goals and look with favor on many of your actions in office thus far. However, the intent to close the Oneida Correctional facility is one that I am deeply opposed to. I know there is a need to decrease expenditures in NYS as the many downside effects of our fiscal instability are quite evident to myself and other taxpayers living and working here. Upstate NY has taken many, many "hits" in the economic sectors and this is indeed tied in with our high rate of taxation that leads people to flee our great state. I personally have family that work at the correctional facility - a young, hardworking nephew who has recently purchased a home and is trying to make a good life for himself - he is supporting a young daughter who resides with him during his visitations and if does not want to move away from his home area for her sake and to be away from other family members. Is there not some other way to utilize the parts of this facility to the goal of keeping it open and adding to it to insure economic growth and stability? From all accounts this facility is not deficient in its operations so it is puzzling to myself and others in this area as to why Oneida Correctional Facility is targeted for closure. PLEASE reconsider this step. - A Democrat, a taxpayer, and a supporter.”

“We need the jobs that are in this area to stay in this area. We have been hit by very hard times from the airbase moving out to manufacturing leaving. Closing Oneida would have a huge impact once again on a struggling area, not to mention the trickle-down effect that will occur. We are not a wealthy bunch that live in this area we are just trying to survive and pay our bills, don't hurt us even more.”

“Gov. Cuomo, do you realize that Oneida and Mohawk run on the same power, water, etc. Oneida fixes Mohawk's vehicles, Oneida does the hub transportation for everyone, Oneida orders and dispenses the drugs from our facility, Oneida has a long term PC unit, Oneida has an intensive sex offender program, Oneida spent $3,000,000,000 on windows in the last 2 years. We've done $13,000,000,000 in rehab over the last few years. It makes no sense to cut off a leg just to lose some weight. We are attached to Mohawk!”

“Let’s look into helping make the system more efficient, let’s make enough money from prison commissaries to pay for their staff, let’s do away with free buses for inmate families to visit; a small fee from just those 2 items would free hundreds of thousands of dollars for the dept. budget. LOOK at the fluff we provide for Inmates daily and let’s start trimming there and from the top down not the bottom up.”

“The closing of this facility is not only causing unemployment but, it puts a strain on the social services that has to supplement these incomes with assistance. We don't need more jobs taken away, we need more jobs brought to this area. The governor needs to work on that instead.”

“I moved from the central NY area because there were no jobs. Many of my friends still living there work at Oneida Correctional. There are few job opportunities available in that area. Don't close one of the few remaining workplaces that give life to the Central NY economy.”

“Why shut down this facility when so many improvements have been done in recent years. Many long term employees will have to travel away from home to keep their jobs. Is this how the state of NY repays them for their dedication? It is centrally located and is larger than many others in the state. Closing it makes no sense. The area cannot take another closing such as this as many others have made note of.”

“Rome, NY cannot take another hit. This comes on the heels of the closing of the Rite Aid Distribution Center, which had existed since the 70s, with the loss of 400 jobs. We were just getting to the point of recovery from the closing of Griffiss Air Force Base. NY State needs to keep this facility open in an area already mired in economic troubles.”

“Closing Oneida Correctional Facility will not only have a negative effect on Rome but the whole of Oneida and some surrounding counties. The people (TAXPAYERS) who work at Oneida support their families, communities, schools. Organizations, charities, "State Parks" (yes we pay to go to these) and as a whole the county we live in. This area cannot afford to lose these jobs. The trickle down results of this closure will be a hardship on families and all of Oneida County and surrounding areas. Keep ONEIDA CORRECTIONAL FACILITY open.”

“I have a brother in there.”

“Prisons are about the only business that is seeing an increase - we can't afford to close them as we will have nowhere to put the people. We don't want them back out in the communities!!!!!”

“There has been too much devastation to the upstate New York economy. The trickle-down effect of losing these jobs will not just hurt the prison staff, families, and prisoners. It will hurt local businesses that are thriving on the people who are employed as middle class citizens. I have been to NYC multiple times over the years and they seem to be bustling. Give Central New York a chance. Families with children often tend to reside near extended family. It seems somewhat unethical to force families out of the area to buy new houses and gain jobs make children grow up without aunts and uncles for extra support.....youth face enough turmoil these days....IT is also duly unfair to send one parent to rent an apartment 4 hours away, so that the rest of the family can remain in the family home for the children's sake! Children who grow up without fathers are more likely to be influenced by drugs, teen pregnancy, domestic violence situations, and academic difficulties. There are great moms out there; research shows the impacts......PLEASE RECONSIDER GIVING UPSTATE NEW YORK AT LEAST ONE JOB. THERE IS SO LITTLE TO STAY HERE FOR.....ESPECIALLY FOR OUR YOUNG MEN AND WOMEN GRADUATING FROM PROFESSIONAL COLLEGES.........”

“With SingSing area residents are asking that you close it, why not reclassify Oneida as a maximum security. That would add to cny's economy while razing SingSing would add prime real estate and added tax revenue to the states coffers. That would create a win for not only both communities but the state.”

“Hope he is aware of the good that this prison d0es for this and other prisons in the area by making all the food. Its go to cost us more to feed the county prisoners now cause of this closure. Which means more taxes for Oneida county tax payers on top of losing the 500 jobs and families from the area. Housing market is going to plummet to where you won't be able to sell.”

“It's just not Rome, NY but the whole surrounding community that will suffer the economic impact of Oneida State Prison closing. Show us the figures to back up this closing? Show us how much money that has been spent just this past budget year on improvements to this facility, make these figures public, show the taxpayers the new windows, doors, elevators, ect!!!! Provide the reason why these improvements were done if the facility needed to close!!”

“My 2nd dad works here and i don’t want him and my family to move they mean so much to me”

“I don't understand how you want to make Rome better when you are going to take 500 jobs away and move half the families in this area so they can stay together as a family. I will lose seeing my Dad whenever I want and have a little brother who has no idea what’s going on and what this will cause for us. Not only that, the CERT team they talk about losing, my dad was highly involved and helped protect, now that means nothing. Closing this facility is not a good choice; it will destroy what we have left of this small town.”

“I must say that I am strongly against what you are doing. This phrase is probably very popular in your discussions - as it should be - and I would appreciate it if you really put some thought in to how the jail closings are affecting the lives of innocent Americans."

"I am but 17 and I am fully aware of the situation. My father took a promotion to become a sergeant about a year and a half ago and since then our family life has not been pretty. Talk about stress when your father is away for two straight weeks during a heinous blizzard in which a wife and her daughter are forced to shovel through ten feet of solid drifts to fill an ever-dying wood stove. Needless to say, it's rough... and that's only one scenario of many.
In the fall I will be heading off to college, leaving my mother home alone during those two weeks of blizzards. I'm already regretting it and I feel absolutely horrible. However, the pity I felt before was minuscule to what I feel now. At least my family had hope that my father might have a chance to moving close to home again. What hope we had is extinguished with the jail closings in our area. The pressure is ridiculous and, honestly and for lack of better words, completely asinine. I know that it shouldn't be this way. I know that it's not just my family that is facing this adversity. If you couldn't already tell, and as you've heard from an innumerable amount of people already, you need to stop the jail closings. We elected you in to office to do good for the people and what you are doing is the exact opposite. I speak for many when I say that I need my father home. I desperately need a sign of hope again. Please-oh-please think this over more thoroughly and actually take in to consideration what the greater good would be.”

“I would like to see the reasons why Oneida C.F. was selected over other prisons NY Governor Cuomo.”

“Keep Oneida Correctional Facility open!!!!!! Everyone in this area will be affected in some way by this closing. This area has sacrificed enough through other major closings we can't afford another. I have family and friends that will truly suffer hardships from this facility closing. Please reconsider this facility closing due to the tremendous hardship of this area.”

“I don't want my daddy to go away because I'll miss him”

“Oneida doesn't meet ANY of the criteria to close a facility, shares multiple utilities with Mohawk CF not to mention the cost of having to build new perimeter roads, tear down and rebuild the perimeter fences for the area between the jails that. Millions of dollars of capital improvements done over the last few years from roofs to windows to a brand new elevator in the infirmary just put in a few months ago. If Albany wants to cut and save money it’s time to look at the amount of commissioners and the bloat and waste in building 2 offices”

“Please keep this and all other facilities open. Please start keeping the criminals behind bars instead of letting them lose to do more serious crimes.”

“Our city can't afford any more layoffs/closures. We have no jobs now. New York State becomes harder to live in each passing year, between the taxes, rising costs of everything and the job availability. Oneida Correctional Facility needs to remain open for the good of our community!”

“I have worked in Corrections at Mid-State for 11 years. This closing will be detrimental to everyone involved. My boyfriend has worked at Oneida over 20 years! Since he has already did time downstate, moving men and woman just like him would not help our area. There are 9 homes just in my neighborhood that are for sale! I keep wondering where these families are going? If we close Oneida CF we are going to lose more jobs with a domino effect! Please reconsider the closing of all of the prisons targeted.”

“My husband and I both work at Oneida between the 2 of us we have dedicated 30 years of service at Oneida this closure is tragic to our family!!”

Please Mr. President help us keep Oneida open!!!!



The undersigned

Charlotte Witzigman started this petition with a single signature, and now has 1,984 supporters. Start a petition today to change something you care about.