Scozzafava said closing a prison in an urban area would have less economic impact than closing Moriah Shock. There are simply fewer economic opportunities in Moriah, he said.
"The bottom line is that if you close a facility in a more-populated area there is a better chance for re-use of that facility," he said. "If they close this camp it'll still be empty 50 years from now. The private sector won't go into that site."
Under Paterson's proposal no one will lose their job, but Moriah Shock employees would have to transfer to another corrections facility.
"The next closest facility is 60 miles one way," Scozzafava said. "That will create a tremendous hardship for employees and force people from our community."
The 200-bed facility is the town's second-largest employer. The largest is Mountain Lakes Services, an agency that assists the developmentally disabled.
If Moriah Shock closes there will be ripple affect through the community, Scozzafava said.
"We can not afford to lose this facility," he said. "If it closes we've lost those jobs forever. The impact on small businesses in the town will be substantial."
In addition to the Moriah shock incarceration facility, Paterson has proposed closing two minimum-security facilities and one medium-security facility.
The other proposed closures are Lyon Mountain in Clinton County, Butler in Wayne County and Ogdensburg in St. Lawrence County.
NYSCOPBA, the union that represents correction officers, will fight the closures, said Donn Rowe, union president.
"Any cuts to the Department of Corrections should start with the top-heavy bloated bureaucracy within the agency and not the safety of the public," he said in a prepared statement.