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Gowanda, NYSCOPBA call on Governor to keep prison open

Posted at 5:35 PM, Dec 22, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-22 17:35:33-05

GOWANDA, N.Y. (WKBW) — Members of the New York State Legislature, The New York State Correctional Officers & Police Benevolent Association, Village of Gowanda and others gathered in front of the Gowanda Correctional Facility asking the Governor to overturn his plan to close the facility.

"My thoughts and prayers are with the hard working men and women that found out, four days before Christmas, that life as they know it would be changing," Gowanda Mayor David Smith said, "Governor, please think about your decision and we implore you to change it."

The closure decision came from the Department of Corrections and Community Supervision on Monday. According to the state, no one will lose their jobs as a result, just be relocated. Mark Deburgomaster of The New York State Correctional Officers & Police Benevolent Association, speaking on behalf of the 920 workers within the Gowanda Correctional Facility, said the relocation won't be easy.

"At this time the numbers are being crunched and we're working with staffing in Albany," Deburgomaster said, "that will be coming out the first week in January to discuss where availabilities are to transfer."

From an early evaluation, many will have to leave Gowanda to be closer to their next assignment.

"They're going to have to travel anywhere from two to three hours to get to the next closest work location."

As of now it is not know if a reversal of the decision to close the facility is being discussed.