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:

Friday, December 24, 1999

Green Haven prison locked down, 40 inmates transferred

Commissioner Glenn S. Goord today ordered the lock down of the Green Haven Correctional Facility and the transfer of 40 inmates to other maximum-security prisons.

"In the past 24 hours," Mr. Goord said, "facility staff have picked up intelligence that this small group of inmates was attempting to strong-arm unwilling inmates at this facility into supporting some unspecified work stoppage in the future. I will not allow inmates to strong-arm others under any circumstances, especially not in an attempt to gain support for the breaking of facility rules."

The inmates being transferred are those thus far identified as attempting to gain support for a work stoppage. The lock down is designed to allow staff to continue their investigation, interview more inmates and identify others supportive of the work stoppage. The lock down will continue until it is lifted at the Commissioner's direction.

During the lock down, which began at 1 p.m., inmates will be confined to their cells around-the-clock. The inmates will be fed in their cells and will only be allowed out of them for visits or emergency medical care, except for approximately 25-30 inmates who work in the mess hall who will be allowed out of their cells to perform their work duties.

Inmates being transferred are being sent to other maximum-security locations. A list of those sites will not be available until Saturday, when the transfers have been completed. Upon their arrival, the inmates will be placed in disciplinary housing where they will be confined to their cells around-the-clock, except for one hour each day of court-mandated outside exercise, or for visits and for trips for emergency medical facilities.

Green Haven, located in Stormville about 95 miles south of Albany in Dutchess County, houses 2,170 adult male felons.

Green Haven was last locked down from November 10-22, 1999, after the discovery on November 10 of two containers of gun powder hidden in a wall in the gymnasium. To date, the investigation has not developed any connection between the gun powder and the attempt by small groups of inmates to call for a work stoppage.