Elmira/Corning Regional Airport
Inmate Hopes Monterey Shock Stays Open
Written By: Tanja Rekhi
BEAVER DAMS -- (WENY) 18 inmates graduated today at the Monterey Shock Facility; however, a new batch didn't come in. That could be because the facility is scheduled to close this upcoming summer. Meantime, Congressman Tom Reed and Elmira Mayor Sue Skidmore are doing everything they can to make sure it doesn't close.
Raymond Lievy graduated today and says the program gave him a second chance at life.
"It's been a great experience, it'd be a shame if it does close," says Lievy. "There's such good opportunities for people that have made mistakes in their lives and it was a big change for me."
He's been in the facility since February for forgery.
Mayor Skidmore and Congressman Reed were also at the graduation ceremony.
"It's about what the inmates do and the amount that don't return into the system and that's amazing, that's an amazing fact," says Mayor Skidmore.
They've done a lot of work in The Southern Tier, like cleaning parks and rebuilding trails. If the facility closes, the state would relocate employees to nearby prisons. The crime rate in New York has dropped 15% over the past 10 years, so state corrections leaders question the need for programs like this.
"We're talking the loss of community benefits, in regards to the work they do for our hard tax paying dollars, that will now have to pay for the work that they were already providing," says Congressman Reed.
Here's a link to the petition started to keep Monterey Shock open: