Monday, September 01, 2014

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Rally Held for Monterey Shock Camp

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CNY/NNY/S. Tier: Rally Held for Monterey Shock Camp
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An incarceration facility that helps people on the wrong side of the law, is set to close next year. A rally was held Saturday to keep Monterey Shock Correctional Facility open.
As our Alexa Green found out, the camp not only saves lives, but serves the greater community as well.

ELMIRA N.Y.-- John Hayward is a Monterey Shock Correctional Facility Graduate. He says he would not be where he is today if it wasn't for Camp Monterey.

"The mindset I was in when I went in, if I didn't have the program or didn't go through the program, I probably would still be there, be in prison, "said Hayward.

That's the message supporters in favor of Camp Monterey want Governor Cuomo to hear.
They say the facility saves lives and gives inmates a second chance.

"I always worried about getting a knock on the door one night, telling me what no parent ever wants to hear and I do believe had he not gone through Monterey, that would have happened eventually with the poor choices he was making," said Kate Mizzoni, a mother of a Monterey Shock Graduate.

But come July of next year the correctional facility is set to close. On Saturday, over a hundred people gathered to try and keep that from happening.

"It's very important to me and very important to this community that we continue to invest in New York State's disenfranchised youth and that we have a model for success," said Monterey Shock Graduate Stephen Ray.

Supporters of Monterey Shock say the facility produces better citizens, instead of better criminals.

"If this camp were to close down, it would impact other young men in a way that they would never have the opportunity to have the compassion that the staff has at Monterey, to show them the right way to make good choices, how to make those choices, and to show them that bad choices don't make bad people," Mizzoni said.

Monterey also provides many services to the community. Local officials say closing the facility may help the state's budget, but will cost the taxpayers even more.

"It's over a million dollars a year the impact just calculated at straight minimum wage. Now if our local governments have to do this it certainly isn't going to be a minimum wage. You're going to factor benefits and everything else in there as well so that's going to be expounded probably close to double," said State Senator Tom O'Mara.

Supporters say they will continue to fight to keep Camp Monterey open and hope Governor Cuomo will hear their message.

Camp Monterey is one of four Upstate New York prisons set to close next year.
State officials argue that crime has decreased considerably and say the closings are necessary as the state makes budget cuts.

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