State leaders spare Moriah Shock Incarceration Facility

"The program is a great service to first time offenders," said Scozzafava, who once worked at the facility. "It's turned around thousands of lives. Even former inmates supported Moriah Shock."

The Moriah supervisor also noted the efforts of state Sen. Betty Little and Assemblywoman Teresa Sayward. Little brought Sen. Ruth Hassell-Thompson, a Democrat from Westchester County who is chairwoman of the Senate Crime Victims, Crime & Corrections Committee, to Moriah for a tour of the facility.

Besides elected officials, the New York State Correctional Officers Police Benevolent Association, the union that represents correction officers, lobbied for Moriah Shock and there were several public rallies to demonstrate community support.

"This agreement recognizes the incredibly challenging fiscal times New York is facing, while also making clear that our public safety cannot be put on the chopping block," said Donn Rowe, president of the New York State Correctional Officers Police Benevolent Association.

To further support keeping the prison open, Essex County created an economic analysis of the impact closing the prison would have on Moriah, the county and the region.

The report cited an $8 million annual negative impact on Essex County should the facility close.

Moriah Shock opened in 1989 on the site of the former Republic Steel Fisher Mine. Republic Steel employed more than 600 people when it closed in 1972.

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