Griffo critical of including prisoner count measure in revenue bill
Friday, August 6, 2010 - 8:47 am

State Senator Joseph Griffo is criticizing his Albany colleagues for including into the revenue bill a change in the way New York State counts prison inmates for the purposes of drawing election boundaries.

Griffo said that both the legislation and the methods used to approve it are wrong.

“Upstate communities that face an impact in terms of costs from the presence of state prisons are being told by New York City advocates that anything to inflate New York City’s numbers is good, and anything that fails to do that is wrong,” Griffo said. “Inmates in state prison for 5, 10 or 20 years are not heading back to their home communities any time soon. They are, for better or worse, residents of the area in which their prison is located. That’s a fact. To claim them as residents of a community they may not have seen for several years is ludicrous and just plain wrong.”

Griffo said that the debate over how to count prisoners is politically motivated. “The real message here is that the people who want to change the system want to use it as a way to reduce the ability of Upstate New York to stand up and resist changes that are being pushed down our throats by Downstate politicians,” Griffo said.