Department of Corrections and Community Supervision

New York State
Department of Correctional Services
Glenn S. Goord, Commissioner

Office of Public Information
[518] 457-8182

For immediate release:

Tuesday September 8, 1998

Prison community service crews assisting in storm cleanup

Thirteen community service crews - consisting of 13 Correction Officers and 118 inmates - were deployed this morning from two state prisons to help central New York officials clear debris in the wake of a deadly thunderstorm that cut through the region Labor Day.

At the request of emergency personnel, seven community service crews comprised of seven Officers and 64 inmates have been dispatched from minimum-security Camp Georgetown in Madison County to assist with the cleanup. Four of the crews are working at the New York State Fairgrounds, where the storm claimed two lives, caused heavy damage and forced cancellation of the final day of the fair. Two other crews are working in Camillus. The seventh crew has been assigned to the Madison County Department of Public Works to help clear debris in various communities throughout the region.

Six community service crews from minimum-security Butler Correctional Facility in Wayne County, consisting of six Officers and 54 inmates, also are clearing fallen trees and other debris from roadways in the municipalities of Lyons, Port Byron and Red Creek. Additional community service crews consisting of 33 Officers and 336 inmates are on standby at the Butler, Camp Georgetown, Mid-State, Hale Creek, Groveland, Camp Pharsalia and Orleans correctional facilities and will be pressed into immediate service at the request of emergency personnel.

"The Department of Correctional Services and other state agencies are to be commended for providing immediate and needed assistance to our needy neighbors in central New York," said Governor George E. Pataki. "It is highly appropriate to deploy supervised inmate labor to projects that benefit New Yorkers in need."

"This Department has always been available to assist those in need and we will continue to be available in the future," said Commissioner Glenn S. Goord of the Department of Correctional Services. "Our supervised community service crews from Butler and Camp Georgetown will work in central New York for as long as their assistance is needed, and I have directed that other crews remain on standby in the event additional help is requested."

More than 2,500 supervised inmates go out on work crews every weekday from state prisons on various community service projects on behalf of municipalities, community organizations and not-for-profit groups. Each year, these supervised inmate crews work in excess of two million hours in communities throughout New York state, assisting those in need.