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State continues prison review; Essex County could be spared

According to Douglas, Cuomo understands how important those prison jobs are for the North County's economic health and well-being.

"Keep it in mind that the governor has visited Essex County over the last year, even when he was campaigning for this job, and he realized our issues here and that people rely on these jobs and that helps our economy," he said. "We certainly don't want people moving out of Essex County to relocate their families for another job at a public facility or correctional facility."

Some state officials argue that Cuomo's number of excess prison beds can be misleading.

According to the state Department of Correctional Services, about 2,500 open beds are known as "restricted vacancies," meaning they need to be kept open for prisoners affected by illness, mental health issues, or those considered a security risk.

DOCS officials say another 1,700 beds need to be available in case of fluctuations in the prison population.

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