GABRIELS — The last prisoner has been moved out of Camp Gabriels.
The number of inmates in the minimum-security camp, which has been slated for closure by New York state, had declined steadily in recent weeks.
Department of Correctional Services spokesman Erik Kriss said Tuesday that the inmates had all been relocated by last Friday.
As of May 15, 52 inmates were housed at the facility, Kriss said.
“On Monday, the 18th, there were 35 prisoners.”
Each inmate has been moved to either another minimum-security facility or to a medium-security prison elsewhere in the system, Kriss said.
“Basically, the whole place now has to be cleared out and cleaned out and inventoried. The idea of getting inmates out is so all that work can be done without having to do the work of supervising inmates.”
OFFICERS GO NEXT
Camp Gabriels is one of three prison camps being closed due to declining numbers of inmates in an effort to save the state $26 million over the next two years.
The move was proposed last year but overturned amid a public outcry. This year, amid the state budget crisis, it went through.
Kriss said 55 corrections officers will leave Camp Gabriels on Thursday.
“Most of them will be going to new assignments in the Clinton Hub, encompassing all of the state prisons in Franklin and Clinton counties, as well as Adirondack Correctional Facility in Ray Brook. There are eight other state prisons clustered geographically nearby.”
The move Thursday will mean 13 corrections officers remain, along with three sergeants, a lieutenant and 28 civilians.
“Of 13 COs left, a few may retire,” Kriss said. “The others do have requests in for transfer to other facilities.
“The way the system works is, they prioritize where they’d like to work and are placed on a list according to seniority. At the moment, there are no vacancies at the facilities they want to reassign to.
“Attrition could create some openings or they may have to decide if they want to transfer to a facility lower on their priority list or not on their priority list.”
But all COs will be offered a job at a state prison facility.
“Civilians are going to be in charge of decommissioning the camp,” Kriss said. “That’s going to take some time.”
Almost 50 buildings make up Camp Gabriels, including dormitories, dining hall, guard posts and tool sheds.
By July 1, Camp Gabriels will close.
“It will be empty,” Kriss said.
The camp’s closure is affecting 600 prison employees statewide, with 95 positions “abolished” locally at Camp Gabriels.
Relocation is governed by a process monitored by the prison union.
DOCS has until Oct. 1 to develop a reuse plan.
“It’s really the governor’s call, in terms of what gets done with this,” Kriss said.
“DEC owns land at that site. There are a number of state players involved. Ultimately, it’s a state property.”
St. Joseph’s Rehabilitation Center, based in Saranac Lake, has proposed a plan for reuse of the site as an addiction treatment center.
In an interview last month, Fischer said it could take months to come up with a reuse plan to fit everybody’s need.
E-mail Kim Smith Dedam at:
GABRIELS — The last prisoner has been moved out of Camp Gabriels.
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