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NYS gradually closing prisons

Albany, N.Y. (AP) -- New York state's corrections chief said the latest prison closings have been taking place gradually following notifications last summer and shuttering half-empty facilities should save taxpayers $30 million.

Department of Corrections and Community Supervision Acting Commissioner Anthony Annucci, testifying before legislators Wednesday, said the state inmate total has dropped from 71,600 in 1999 to about 54,200 currently.

People imprisoned on drug convictions have declined from 24,000 in 1996 to fewer than 6,700 at the end of last year.

Lawmakers have lowered sentences for many drug crimes.

Following notifications last summer, closings are scheduled at minimum-security Monterey Shock facility in Schuyler County and medium-security Butler in Wayne County, Chateaugay in Franklin County and Mt. McGregor in Saratoga County effective July 26.

Nine other state prison facilities were previously closed.

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Washington Times