Planning prisons in New York State: The site selection process and impact on communities
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The thesis attempts to synthesize the prison site selection process from the perspective of local elected officials, local or county planners, state legislators, and the state agency responsible for corrections, the Department of Correctional Services (DOCS). Town historical archives and interviews piece together much of the story, but many elements from state records and the personal accounts of state decision makers and DOCS officials are absent in the study. Their input was solicited but ultimately the DOCS and chairman of the New York State Senate's Crime Victims, Crime, and Corrections Committee refused to participate in the study. In addition to the investigation of planning's role in siting prisons, a much larger and more important argument is presented in this research. The study reveals planners neglected to evaluate prison expansion through normative means. The field's reliance on a positivist practice when siting prisons in communities omits important questions related to professional ethics that demand social and fiscal responsibility.