Moriah Supervisor: Camp Brings Employment and Community Service to the Area | Local
MAURY THOMPSON Special for The Post-Star
MORIAH – Moriah’s supervisor, Tom Scozzafava, is passionate about the economic impact of a correctional facility.
“One hundred jobs in Moriah equals roughly 10,000 jobs in Brooklyn,” on a per capita basis, said Scozzafava.
Scozzafava has been trumpeting economic impact for over three decades.
“When I campaigned for the office in 1985, I campaigned to try to get a correctional facility here. … And the prophets of doom said, ‘It will never happen,’ ”he said.
Scozzafava was successful, both in his candidacy for the post of supervisor and in his goal for the state to locate a prison in the city.
In 1989, the Moriah Shock Correctional Facility opened on the site of the former Republic Steel Fisher Hill mine in Mineville, which closed in 1972, leaving the city in economic jeopardy.
The shock camp program was an innovative concept at the time, in which non-violent inmates went through a rigorous program similar to a boot camp for physical exercise, education, and community work experience.
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The program quickly received praise from organizations that benefited from community service.
“The club especially thanks the Moriah Shock camp officers and their inmates for the work they have done on the club grounds. Commander John Wilson and his team have the best place he has been in years, ”Schroon Lake Fish and Game Club agents wrote in a September 15, 1989 letter to the editor of The star post. “We also want to thank the Correctional Officers and their team who are working with DEC to rebuild the Schroon River Salmon Spillway. “
Scozzafava resumed its place in its economic development platform in 2010, when the state announced in January its intention, which was later rescinded, to close the Moriah shock camp.
Then-senator Elizabeth Little, R-Queensbury, brought in the then-senator. Ruth Hassell-Thompson, a Westchester County Democrat who was chair of the Senate Committee on Victims of Crime, and Corrections, to visit Moriah and tour the facility.
Hassell-Thompson was impressed and supported in keeping it open.
Scozzafava, a Republican, has met four times in several months with Governor David Paterson, a Democrat.
In June 2010, state officials announced that Moriah Shock would remain open.
Scozzafava said that in 2010 he had more time to advocate for Moriah Shock to remain open because the initial plan for closure was part of Paterson’s state budget proposal, which was to be negotiated with leaders of the ‘Assembly and Senate over the next few months.
This time, a law already passed gave Governor Kathy Hochul full authority to shut down any correctional facilities she deemed necessary.
“D-Day is much closer,” said Scozzafava. “The last word will have to come from the governor.