Posts Tagged ‘Camp Gabriels’

Tuesday, June 11, 2024

Legislative session ends with no prison action

Camp Gabriels correctional facility.


The state Legislature wrapped up session in the early hours of Saturday with no solution for the three closed prisons in forest preserve counties, which cannot be sold or leased without a constitutional amendment. One appeared to be in reach early last week, but lawmakers and Adirondack Park groups say they ran out of time.

This was a crucial year to pass a constitutional amendment freeing the prisons from forest preserve because of upcoming elections. A constitutional amendment has to be passed by two separately elected state Legislatures so by missing first passage this session, we’re looking at the end of 2027 now for another opportunity.

» Continue Reading.

Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Camp Gabriels amendment passes Senate

Camp Gabriels correctional facility.


The state Senate passed a bill (again) that would authorize the sale of the former prison Camp Gabriels in the town of Brighton through a constitutional amendment. The prison has been closed since 2009.

Since the state is no longer using the property, it has reverted to forest preserve, which cannot be sold or leased. In order for someone else to purchase the property, a constitutional amendment is required.

Such an amendment was first proposed in 2015, passing the state Senate several times. The bill has continued to stall in the state Assembly. State Assemblyman Billy Jones, D-Chateaugay Lake, said on Tuesday that the assembly was still working on it.

» Continue Reading.

Wednesday, May 15, 2024

Constitutional Amendment Needed To Re-Purpose The 3 Closed Prisons In The Forest Preserve

There are now three decommissioned State correctional facilities on Forest Preserve lands. Two are within the Adirondack Park and one is outside the Park on Forest Preserve lands in Saratoga County. The three closed prisons are Camp Gabriels Correctional Facility in the town of Brighton, Franklin County; Moriah Shock Incarceration Correctional Facility in the towns of Moriah and Elizabethtown, Essex County; and Mount McGregor Correctional Facility in the towns of Corinth, Moreau and Wilton, Saratoga County.

» Continue Reading.

Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Prison property tax bill stalls

Prison closures in the Adirondacks and around the state continue to be an issue for state lawmakers.

Last week, state Sen. Dan Stec, R-Queensbury, ushered legislation through the Senate that would authorize a constitutional amendment for Camp Gabriels. Camp Gabriels, a Franklin County prison closed in 2009, cannot be redeveloped by a private entity without a constitutional amendment. The property is now technically on forest preserve, lands the state cannot sell or lease. A constitutional amendment has passed the Senate multiple times, but it hasn’t passed the state Assembly. The legislation gets another chance at that second step this session.

Another prison closed in the park, Moriah Shock in Essex County, is in the same situation. State Assemblyman Matthew Simpson, R-Horicon, introduced legislation that would have provided communities tax revenue for closed prisons. The bill will likely not make a floor vote this session, however. Simpson blamed Democrats. Six Democrats voted to hold the bill in committee, while three Republicans voted against the hold.

“I am flustered by the interference of partisan politics in what is otherwise apolitical legislation that unilaterally helps residents across the state,” Simpson said in a news release. “My goal was to hold New York responsible for the dozens of closed correctional facilities throughout the state that are currently squeezing taxpayers. We have to hold the state accountable for the facilities it abruptly closes down which leaves hundreds of corrections officers and staff unemployed or forced to relocate. The closure of these facilities has had destructive consequences on surrounding communities.”

You can read the bill language and see the committee votes by clicking here.

Aerial shot of Camp Gabriels from the Almanack archive

This first appeared in Gwen’s weekly “Adirondack Report” newsletter. Click here to sign up

Saturday, July 4, 2020

Weekend read: Constitutional amendments

Happy Independence Day!

Article 14, Section 1 — the “Forever Wild” clause of New York’s constitution — has been amended 16 times since 1938, and talks have been under way about three new amendments that could be put before voters.

In the Almanack, Peter Bauer, Executive Director of Protect the Adirondacks, has been working on a five-part series about these proposed amendments.

» Continue Reading.

Monday, June 29, 2020

Amendment needed to transfer state ownership of Camp Gabriels

Protect the Adirondacks has reviewed the options for the future of the Camp Gabriels complex, a former state prison in the Town of Brighton in Franklin County in the northern Adirondack Park. The site is located between Saranac Lake and Paul Smith’s just outside of Gabriels. The land that the prison complex was built upon is Forest Preserve, protected under NYS Constitution Article 14, Section 1. The prison complex was part of a state purchase in 1982 of over 224 acres. This facility has been dormant since 2009 when the state closed the prison camp.

» Continue Reading.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Dave Gibson On The State Forest Preserve’s Camp Gabriels

Article 14, Section 1 New York State Constitution Forever Wild clauseLegislation in the form of a constitutional amendment has been introduced in Albany this session which would “convey certain Forest Preserve that was never intended to be included in the Forest Preserve.”  That land is the 92-acre former Camp Gabriels prison in the Town of Brighton, formerly part of Paul Smith’s College, and before that a tubercular sanitarium. How this property and those interested in its conversion from a prison to another use came to this stage is a bit of a long story.

Given that this legislative session has just five days remaining, this 11th hour introduction of a constitutional amendment to Article XIV, the forever wild clause, should be viewed as both very surprising and controversial. It is neither. It’s a lesson learned, I trust, for the State of New York which turned a deaf ear in 2011 to the warning and recommendation of Adirondack Wild: Friends of the Forest Preserve, Protect the Adirondacks and the Atlantic Chapter of the Sierra Club. » Continue Reading.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

The Correction: Two Sides of Prison Life

Martha Joe Russell YusefJoe Hackett has spent time in prison. Yes, the well known local guide, columnist, and scout for Seventh Avenue has spent years in jail, not as a inmate, but as a recreation coordinator at Camp Gabriels, a former New York State Minimum Security prison shuttered a few years ago by the state.

Once a tuberculosis sanatorium, the 92-acre facility was sold to the state in 1982, which operated it as a 336 bed-prison until 2009. There many of the prisoners worked on forestry and community service-related, projects, yet not-withstanding, it was prison far, far from home and family for the men housed there. For them the “Dacks” was a cold, hostile and distant place.

The prison was built, as were most in the North Country, as an outcome of the ‘War of Drugs’ and in particular Rockefeller Drugs laws that resulted in mass incarceration and a resultant building boom here because most urban and suburban voters did not want prisons located in ‘their back yards.’ Under the leadership of the late Senator Ron Stafford, such projects were welcomed for the many solid salaries they offered and, as a result, New York Corrections is the largest employer in the North Country.

» Continue Reading.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Commentary:Camp Gabriels Deal Requires Constitutional Amendment

Of all the recent press about the State’s attempted sale of 92-acre former minimum security prison known as Camp Gabriels in the town of Brighton, nothing has yet been written about the small problem of the NYS Constitution which says that the lands of the state now owned or hereafter acquired, constituting the forest preserve, as now fixed by law…shall not be leased, sold or exchanged” (Article 14, Section 1).

Are the 92-acres of Camp Gabriels, in fact, Forest Preserve lands which the State unconstitutionally used for purposes of a minimum security prison? And, despite their developed condition, can the State now simply dispose of them like any other “surplus” property? » Continue Reading.