Town of Alden, N.Y. (WKBW) -- Governor Cuomo announced Thursday, the closing of several state prison facilities. One of those is a minimum security detention center here in western New York. The decision by Governor Cuomo to close seven prison facilities, is aimed to save the state 184 million dollars over the next two years. The closings are throughout the state. Three are men's medium security facilities. The other four are men's minimum security facilities. One of those is the Buffalo Correctional Facility, located behind the state's Wende Correctional Facility in Alden. It's a dormitory type building that houses a residential treatment and work release program. The affected inmates will be moved to other prisons. The effect on correctional officers jobs was not disclosed.
"Why build new, if used will do? So, if we can find existing space there...let's use it," remarked Erie County Sheriff Timothy Howard. Howard wants to take a close look at the soon to be unused Buffalo Correctional Facility. The building is near the county's Alden Correctional Facility and houses between 150 and 200 inmates. The newer design of the state facility might give the county a chance to keep manpower requirements to a minimum if they can take over the building.
"It would be our desire to use the largest capacity dormitory, housing units first and maybe close some of our smaller units and open them when our population requires that...to reduce our staff demands," Howard added. The Governor's plan also includes a 50 million dollar fund that communities impacted by a prison closure can use to offset economic losses. The Sheriff wants to know if any of those funds would be available to upgrade the closing state building, so it would fit the needs of the county.