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WATERTOWN HUB - NY DOC New York State Prisons located in the WATERTOWN HUB - Ogdensburg, Riverview, Gouverneur, Cape Vincent, Watertown.

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Old 10-26-2004, 07:37 PM
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Manzanita Manzanita is offline
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Default Gouverneur Correctional Facility - MEDIUM MALE


Gouverneur Correctional Facility
Scotch Settlement Rd., P.O. Box 370
Gouverneur, New York 13642-0370

(315) 287-7351

(St. Lawrence County)

Medium Male

Visitation Hours: 8:30am - 2:45pm

Visiting Rules: I didnt have any packages because I was warned about the long line to leave a package, so I sent mines thru the mail, but its a long line to leave them stuff. They dont let you into security until 8:30am and its 3 people at a time. By 8:35am I got to security (i was in the first group since I didnt have a package), I was wearing a wireless bra (in which i have went thru fine in Ulster), but ended up having to take it off because it made me ring (time to look for a new bra). About the dress code, there were girls there with heels, leggings, but you just cant be showing thattt much skin. After security its the same drill as any other place (there all the same I guess, and look the same lol). I went in got my table all the way in the back (they have a kids area and since i was with my daughter they sat us where it was so she can play there). They called him quick and our beautiful visit started. It is more relaxed than reception (he was in ulster). They can walk to the vending machines with you and dont have to ask permission to get up. My fiance would go play with my daughter in the kids area with out asking permission. They had about 6 smoke breaks, and you can sit outside but it was cold so we didnt. As for the vending machines, they hardly had any food and when they stocked up (only once),, everyone made a huge line. The only dissapointing thing was the pictures.

Visiting Room:


Prison Web Site:

Prison Picture: In order for you to take pics, you have to buy a block from the vending machine, theres three of them and each one indicate how many pictures you want to take for example, the block that says one you take one pic for $2, the one that says two, you take two for $4, and for three you take three for $6. Well at 1pm, they call each row to take pics and by the time the got to the fourth row

FRP available: NO

Number of prisoners:

General Information:Opened: 1990, Capacity: 1082 male (16+), Adult Correctional Institutions, Employees: 387, Cost of care: $49.18 per day

If you have any additional information, you can post in the NYS UPDATE Thread.

"Tight security abets programming"

Gouverneur Correctional Facility
Just as with the many other medium-security facilities constructed in the 1980's, Gouverneur was a byproduct of the changes then being imposed upon the criminal justice system. A "crack" epidemic was sweeping not only the state but the entire country. There was a pressing need for medium-security beds to house and treat drug offenders who would double the size of the prison system. The Department designed a prototype prison and replicated that "cookie cutter" design to handle the unprecedented influx of inmates. Gouverneur is one of these "cookie cutter" facilities. "Big house" cell blocks for violent felons, made famous in old-time prison movies, gave way to barracks-style housing for nonviolent offenders.

Construction of the $42.5 million Gouverneur prison began in December of 1989. The prison was constructed on approximately 100 acres of land on the outskirts of the village of Gouverneur in St. Lawrence County. The first staff members arrived at the facility in early October of 1990 and the first group of 25 inmates arrived on October 12, 1990. This was part of the first 400-bed phase of housing inmates at the new prison. The initial inmates were housed in A-Block and were assigned to the mess hall, work detail and school programs. The recreation program was initially run out of a barracks-style housing unit and basketball was played on the walkway leading to the G-1 housing unit.

In January of 1991, the recreation, activities and program buildings became available as the prison was phased into use as a 750-bed facility. The facility now houses approximately 870 inmates.

Within the secured perimeter of Gouverneur there are approximately 55 acres of land. The facility also maintains 45 acres of land outside the perimeter. There are 30 buildings on the property, including seven barracks-style housing units. Gouverneur also features a 10-bed medical unit and a 32-cell Special Housing Unit.

Gouverneur is also one of nine medium-security facilities across the state to house a maximum-security S-Block. These units are designed to segregate from the general population those inmates who choose to assault staff and others and disobey prison rules. There are 100, double-occupancy cells at each of these units. Gouverneur's $12 million S-Block opened in November of 1997. The result of these S-Blocks has been safer prisons throughout New York.

Providing tools to overcome addiction

As with most other prisons across the state, Gouverneur offers a full range of academic programs. Inmates who do not have either a high school diploma or GED are now required to attend academic programming and attain at least the ninth-grade proficiency level in both reading and math skills before being eligible to take their GED exam. The previous proficiency levels in each of those disciplines was eighth grade, which is not considered adequate to succeed in today's society.

Ever since it opened its doors, Gouverneur's mission has been extensive and diverse, designed to help inmates get their lives back on track. And it touches a lot of bases in that focused, daily mission.

Among Gouverneur's varied program offerings is a Residential Substance Abuse Treatment (RSAT) program. This program is designed for chemically-dependent inmates using the modality of a separate therapeutic community in connection with the Department's Alcohol and Substance Abuse Treatment (ASAT) manual.

The treatment community is the agent of change, acting in a highly organized and structured fashion so that its systems essentially constitute an environment to engage the participants in social learning. This model sets ethics of right living and recovery for the chemically-dependent inmate on the parallel paths of mental, emotional and physical health. Accountability of self and responsibility to others are the cornerstones to building a caring and nurturing environment to facilitate positive changes in Gouverneur's RSAT program.

The treatment teams are comprehensive, consisting of an ASAT Correction Counselor, two ASAT Program Assistants and a Keyboard Specialist. The team oversees the treatment community concept as its primary mission. Staff also completes the standard documents required in the ASAT manual.

The RSAT program runs for six months. It has a three-step process of orientation, participation, and aftercare cadre components. The last is mutually agreed upon between staff and individual inmates in an effort to establish positive role models in a therapeutic community.

Other issues that are also covered include development of a cadre or positive peer role model from participants who have successfully completed the program. Also key is the ability to demonstrate a functional understanding in the nine competency areas outlined in the ASAT program manual.

The Family Services Program includes individual and family counseling to assist with the enhancement of familial relationships; parent education programs for inmates; children's play areas (Sesame Street Program) in, or adjacent to, visiting areas, and comfortable hospitality centers to accommodate incoming and departing visitors. The goal of this program is to enrich and strengthen family relations in anticipation of the inmate's release from prison.

Academic, vocational programs abound

Cognizant of the fact that inmate needs more than just education and treatment for their substance abuse/alcohol addictions, Gouverneur also offers a full plate of vocational programming. These varied courses are designed to provide inmates with the knowledge and basic skills they need in a variety of professions to help them get a job and support themselves and their families.

Among Gouverneur's vocational programs is one geared toward helping prepare inmates for a career in the electrical trades field. This course provides instruction in basic electrical skills with an emphasis on the installation and servicing of all types of residential and commercial wiring systems. Instruction is given on code interpretation, installation and servicing of circuits and controls, use of testing equipment and the reading of architectural drawings and wiring schematics.

Gouverneur's electrical trades course entails self-paced individual instruction. Upon successful completion of this course, inmates are deemed qualified to be considered for an entry-level position in the profession. They can then apply for jobs like residential electrician, motor repairer, motor control assembler, tool crib attendant, electrician's helper, inventory clerk and tool repairer. A state Department of Labor (DOL) apprenticeship program in electrical trades is also available to Gouverneur inmates enrolled in the program. Upon completing that advanced phase of the program, inmates enhance their chances of securing employment upon release.

Gouverneur also offers a building maintenance program. This course provides students with the fundamental skills required to make minor repairs in carpentry, masonry, electricity and plumbing. The course provides the inmates with entry- level skills in the profession.

As with the facility's electrical trades vocational program, the length of the building maintenance program varies as it's also tied to self-paced individualized instruction to develop competencies in the various fields that are offered. A DOL apprenticeship program in building maintenance is also available.

Upon successful completion of the course, inmates can apply for jobs such as an acoustical carpenter, mason's or plumber's helper, drywall taper or applicator, light fixture serviceman, inventory clerk and tool crib attendant.

Gouverneur also offers a vocational course in welding. Inmates in this program are taught various techniques of cutting and welding. The inmates are schooled on the control of equipment in the various positions of welding as well as many types of joints, beads, welds and brazes. The course also includes instruction in blueprint reading and working from layouts and diagrams.

Inmates who are visually or hearing impaired, are color blind, have asthma or are missing a limb may be prohibited from participation in the course.

Successful completion of the course enables inmates to apply for jobs like production or arc welder, inventory clerk and layout worker.

A vocational course in custodial maintenance is also available at Gouverneur. This program emphasizes various custodial topics including floor care, carpet and fabric care, upholstery care, the proper use of sanitation chemicals, window care, rest room care and the safe use and operation of power cleaning equipment.

The goal of Gouverneur's custodial maintenance program is to develop inmate competencies in various entry-level skills. Among the job titles that inmates can qualify for upon completion of the course are commercial or industrial cleaner, industrial sweeper, inventory clerk, custodian, floor waxer, tool crib attendant and window cleaner.

Another vocational offering on the Gouverneur menu is its floor covering program. This covers the installation of most floor covering materials including types of carpeting, floor tiles, sheet goods, wall tile and quarry slate. The inmates also learn layout and measurement, floor preparation, maintenance, repair and job estimation.

This program also offers a DOL apprenticeship program. Upon completion of the course, inmates are deemed qualified to apply for jobs like carpet/floor layer, inventory clerk, linoleum/vinyl layer, ceramic tile setter and tool crib attendant.

Another one of Gouverneur's vocational courses is its masonry program. Inmates are taught the fundamentals of wall construction, mixing mortar and learning to work with brick, cinder blocks, cement blocks and concrete. The inmates also learn blueprint reading and trade mathematics. Upon completion of the course, the inmates can apply for jobs such as a cement mason, brick layer, stone mason and inventory clerk.

Helping others one day at a time

As is the case with other prisons across New York, staff and inmates at Gouverneur do not operate in a vacuum. They are constantly pitching in to help the needy in communities surrounding the prison and community residents, in kind, have returned those frequent favors.

Every Saturday and Sunday, for instance, visitors are greeted at Gouverneur's hospitality center by area volunteers. Among other duties, these volunteers verse family members on proper visiting policies and procedures. They also provide them with a place to freshen up after what was usually a long bus trip up north to spend some time with a loved one. Volunteers from AA also visit the prison weekly to meet with two inmate groups to assist them in combating their alcohol and substance abuse addictions. There are approximately 15 inmates in each group, each of which is overseen by a separate volunteer.

The Northern Regional Center for Independent Living also plays a key role in helping Gouverneur inmates get their lives back in order. The group regularly dispatches employees to the facility to provide inmates with HIV/AIDS education to augment the education regularly provided by facility staff.

Volunteers from many religious groups are also frequent visitors to Gouverneur. Another group of volunteers comes to the facility each month to conduct an alternatives to violence program. About 25 inmates a month take part in this training session.

The continued efforts of staff and inmates at Gouverneur to improve the community can be clearly seem throughout the region, and for that local residents are extremely thankful. Staff members are active members of their communities. They hold regular fund-raisers to assist their neighbors in need, serve as volunteer firefighters and sports coaches, volunteer their time at community food banks and soup kitchens and serve on municipal and community advisory boards.

The letters of appreciation never seem to stop making their way into the Superintendent's office at Gouverneur. Recently, for instance, staff and inmates in the facility's building maintenance teamed up with G.W. White and Son, a local lumber retailer, to construct planters to spruce up the Village Park on Main Street. The three-by-three-foot planters were built with pressure-treated lumber and should stand the test of time.

The facility has also donated benches and trash receptacles for the ongoing beautification of downtown Gouverneur.

One particular recent project of pride involved the facility again teaming up with G.W. White. Using lumber donated by the company, the facility constructed a set of sturdy bleachers for the Little League ballfields at the Riverview Recreational Park in the village.

It was an offering that was greatly appreciated.

"The quality and workmanship of the bleachers is exceptional," said Michael Burgess, vice president of the Greater Gouverneur Area Recreation Center, Inc. "The addition of these bleachers to our recreational park has allowed fans to watch our Little League games in a more comfortable setting."

Every year, staff and inmates at prisons across the state participate in Make a Difference Day activities to benefit the needy in their communities. Staff at Gouverneur have held several fund-raisers to benefit three local organizations: the St. Lawrence County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, the Gouverneur Neighborhood Center and Hospice of St. Lawrence Valley. Each agency received $380. Inmates also donated $150 to the Gouverneur Recreation Center.

The inmates get in the game of making a difference in the community in other ways as well. In an effort to assist at-risk local youth and prevent them from eventually winding up in prison, Gouverneur inmates, under the supervision of programming and security staff, conduct regular Youth Assistance Program (YAP) sessions at the facility. Unlike the often-berated "Scared Straight" program, YAP is specifically designed to provide positive guidance and direction to at-risk youth in a non-judgmental and reinforcing manner.

During the program, inmates openly relate their own improper decisions and behavior patters that ultimately led to their incarceration. The at-risk youths in the program are referred by the Department of Social Services, Family Court, school districts and community-based organizations.
I no longer work for PTO and do not have updated information to share
please go to the NY Forum for help from current staff and members!
Good Luck to you!

Last edited by MissVal1920; 10-12-2010 at 09:49 AM.. Reason: updating info
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