Governor Cuomo takes action to reform New York prisons

ALBANY, N.Y. (WIVB) — Gov. Andrew Cuomo revealed he signed a new law and an executive order that will impact prisoners in the New York State Prison system.

He signed a new law reinforcing the prohibition on shackling pregnant inmates at prisons and county jails and during travel except in certain circumstances, in which handcuffs may be used pending the approval of a sheriff or prison superintendent.

Women will continue to fall under the law after birth for eight weeks after delivery, or the pregnancy’s termination.

Governor Cuomo’s office defended the law, saying current restraints subject incarcerated pregnant women to potential falling hazards and blood clots.

He also penned an executive order that will separate teens from adults in prisons across New York State, in a move that he says will afford youths a better chance at turning their lives around.

“This action will help reduce the recidivism rate, increase public safety and save taxpayer dollars over the long run,” Cuomo said. “No matter how you look at it … this action is the right thing to do.”

The Hudson Correctional Facility in Columbia County will be transformed into a facility to house the population of 16- and 17-year-old prisoners. The facility will be ready to take on its new population beginning in August of 2016.

Cuomo said he’s working with the Department of Corrections and Community Supervision and the Office of Children and Family Services to ensure plans are carried out successfully.

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