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:

Thursday, August 13, 1998

New prison at Malone, formally named "Upstate," is 30 percent complete

Construction of a new 750-cell, double-occupancy maximum-security prison in the Town of Malone in Franklin County is 30 percent complete and on schedule to open as planned in July 1999. The prison was proposed by Governor George E. Pataki in his 1997-98 budget.

Commissioner Goord has named the new prison Upstate Correctional Facility. It is being constructed on a 111.5-acre parcel along Bare Hill Road immediately north of the state's existing medium-security Bare Hill Correctional Facility. Upstate's 23 buildings totaling approximately 600,000 square feet will occupy 70 acres.

Commissioner Goord chose Upstate from among the names suggested by community residents, which also included Border, Flat Rock and North Country. He decided upon Upstate in recognition of the consistency of giving facilities regional names, such as:

  • The Mid-State Correctional Facility in Marcy, Eastern New York Correctional Facility in Napanoch, Downstate Correctional Facility in Fishkill and Mid-Orange Correctional Facility in Warwick.
  • There is also a Lakeview Correctional Facility near Lake Erie in Chautauqua County and the Riverview Correctional Facility in St. Lawrence County along the river of the same name. There is the Arthurkill facility in New York City, Fishkill in Dutchess County and Wallkill in Ulster County. Hale Creek is named for the waterway in Fulton County, while the Hudson Correctional Facility is near this river in Columbia County and a facility in Oneida County is named for the Mohawk River.
  • Mohawk shares its Indian name with the Oneida and Cayuga facilities. The Sint Sinck tribe's language is the source of the name of the prison now called Sing Sing ("stone upon stone").
  • The Adirondack and Shawangunk facilities bear the names of mountain ranges. Another prison is located at the Summit in Schoharie County, still another at Bare Hill in Franklin County. There is also Lyon Mountain in Clinton County and Mount McGregor in Saratoga County.
  • A dozen prisons are named for the counties that welcomed them into their midst, including Franklin, Livingston, Cayuga, Oneida, Greene, Ulster, Clinton, Queensboro, Sullivan, Wyoming, Orleans and Washington.

Upstate addresses the need for more maximum-security space and also provides a substantial economic boost for the North Country. It means a total of 367 new full-time security and civilian jobs and an annual payroll of $11.7 million. Upstate also will create an additional 55 "spin-off" jobs in the community, generating an additional annual payroll of about $1 million. In all, the new prison will mean 422 new jobs and an annual payroll of almost $13 million.

The new prison also will generate an additional $56 million in wages during the building period through the creation of approximately 530 temporary construction-related jobs. Additionally, the Department of Correctional Services has agreed to pay the town $10.8 million to expand and extend the local water and sewer systems to accommodate Upstate.

Upstate primarily will serve as a disciplinary housing unit for those inmates who assault staff and violate other prison rules. About 1,200 of the 1,500 inmates to be incarcerated at Upstate will be locked in their cells 24 hours a day with the exception of one hour daily for court-mandated exercise, medical appointments and very limited visiting privileges. The remaining 300 will serve as cadre, released from their cells each day to work in such areas as the mess hall, laundry, maintenance and grounds care.

Governor Pataki said, "The men and women who work in New York state's 69 prisons deserve a safe and secure working environment. That includes having maximum-security disciplinary housing unit cells to lock up those offenders who assault them and violate other prison rules. This in turn frees up general confinement cells, where misbehaving inmates are now being ´keep locked,´ which allows the prison system to accept from county jails those offenders who have been sentenced to state prison."

Commissioner Goord said, "This expansion helps address the need for more maximum-security cells to house those violent offenders who will be serving longer sentences under Governor Pataki's 1995 ´Truth in Sentencing Law´ for repeat violent felony offenders, as well as under Jenna's Law. Additionally, we will enhance security inside our prisons through our increased ability to segregate disruptive and violent inmates from staff and other inmates."

"This new facility provides state-of-the-art security and safety for the dedicated correction officers who protect us from the state's worst criminals," said state Senator Ronald B. Stafford, R-C-Peru. "In addition, the North Country's economy gets a boost from hundreds of new local construction jobs and the creation of a permanent workforce that will contribute to our region for decades."

"Correctional employees and their families will be safer and more secure as a result of this new prison," said Assemblymember Chris Ortloff, R-C-Plattsburgh.

Construction contracts totaling $124 million were awarded February 23, 1998. The bids came in 14 percent below the initial estimate, according to the state Office of General Services.

The prison will consist of five identical housing units of 150 double-occupancy cells. The 750 cells were specifically designed for double occupancy and have 105 square feet of interior space, making them the largest in the prison system. Each cell will be equipped with a toilet and sink, a facility-controlled shower and a rear door opening into an enclosed exercise area. At only two stories, the housing units adhere to Commissioner Goord's direction that the facility maintain as low a profile as possible.

The facility will also contain an administration building, infirmary, visiting building, gymnasium and other support units. An inmate services building will provide space for inmate meal preparation, laundry services and a commissary.