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ELMIRA HUB PRISONS - NY DOC New York Prisons located in the ELMIRA HUB - Butler, Auburn, Five Points, Cayuga, Willard, Monterey, Elmira, Southport.

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Old 10-26-2004, 07:57 PM
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Manzanita Manzanita is offline
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Default Monterey Shock Incarceration Corr. Fac.

Monterey Shock Incarceration Corr. Fac.
R.D. #1, 2150 Evergreen Hill Road
Beaver Dams, New York 14812-9718

(607) 962-3184

(Schuyler County)

Minimum Male

Thank you NYPurple--4/10/2011

There isn't much posted regarding any of the Shock Camps so here is some info on our visit to Montery.

I have visited county jail, medium NY facilities and NY maximum facilities so I was not prepared for Montery Shock Facility. Pleasantly surprised.

It is a small camp nestled into a large hillside, down an isolated road that a corral of ponies and horses greet you as you turn onto. The buildings are low one story wood frame on your right. The employee and visitor parking lot are on your left.

My first impression was there are no fences, none anywhere. My second impression was the door to the main entrance was wide open; it was a warm sunny day. After crossing the road; no traffic, the small road leading in is more like a driveway, ending at the facility; you cross a small paved lot to the main entrance.

As you approach the main door you can hear the din of families and friends visiting their loved ones. Once inside you are greeted by a CO dressed in Army tan. You sign in on a clip board the inmates DIN and name, your name and time arrived. The CO asks if you have keys, gives you a brown lunch bag and instructs you to write your name on it and places the bag with keys on a shelf that you can collect on your way out. No metal detector and he never even asked to look at my ID.

We turned to our left pass through a door, a short hallway to another door and were in a long visiting room with connecting long tables the length of the room. The room is bright and cheery because one wall is all windows; facing the parking lots. This is why you can hear them outdoors. You see the CO; half way down the room on the window wall; also dressed in Army tan only he is dressed with bloused slacks, (very military) and he instructs you to sit anywhere there is room pointing to which side of the room. Inmates on one side of the table, visitors on the other.

Since calls and visiting are alternate Saturdays or Sundays, no one misses a visit. They have an overflow building across the street. There are no refreshment machines in the overflow building so visitors are given a large brown bag to purchase drinks and snacks that they will carry across the street. Visitors are placed facing the windows. Every so often I caught inmates running from the main entrance to the over flow visiting room. All inmates are dressed in shiny boots, green pants pressed and creased, white short sleeve dress shirts pressed and creased, and green ties. Their hat is in their back pocket. Hat colors indicate what level they have reached in the program.

Visiting hours are 9:00 am to 3:00 pm.
They allow 3 Adults. I am not sure about children. I saw a family with 3 adults and 3 small children. There is no play room for kids. They separated the families with children and no children to either end of the room.
Snack, sandwich and drink machines run out quickly. There is only one of each. Although around 1:00 pm they filled the machine and replenished the change machine.
All the food was cheaper than other facilities. Sandwiches $2.75; Sodas, Water, Ice Tea $1.00 and coffee $.25, chips and candy $.75.

"Home of Shock"

Monterey Shock Incarceration
Forty years ago, on May 1, 1958, the New York State Department of Corrections opened a minimum-security camp, without fences or walls, on 10,000 acres of state forest land in Schuyler County. Ten "campmen" arrived by transfer from the state's prisons, and were soon joined by others to bring the camp to its capacity of 60 inmates. Camp Monterey was the second forestry camp established in New York; the first had opened two years before at Pharsalia. For the next 29 years, Monterey would specialize in conservation work for young offenders. Then, in 1987, New York would establish its first "shock incarceration" facility at Monterey. Monterey would still perform forestry work, but would be better known to the outside world as a " boot camp."

Camps diversify correctional system

Shock incarceration is the latest step in the long evolution of corrections in New York state. In the system's infancy in the early 1800's, there was only one kind of institution, the fortress prison, and all comers were put there; young and old, sane and insane, first offenders and rubber-ball recidivists. Women were kept in separate buildings or attics on the grounds of the male prisons.

Then, in 1876, New York opened the world-famous Elmira Reformatory for young first offenders. This was a giant step toward what we now call a "system," with different kinds of institutions for different classifications of offenders.

By the 1950's, New York operated 15 institutions holding 20,000 inmates. To the "big houses" at Sing Sing, Auburn, Attica, Great Meadow, Green Haven and Clinton had been added reformatories at Elmira and Coxsackie; a reception and classification center for young males, also at Elmira; a medium-security institution for males at WalIkill; a reformatory and a prison for women at Albion and Bedford Hills; facilities for intellectually-limited inmates at Eastern, Albion and Woodbourne, plus hospitals for the insane at both Matteawan and Dannemora.

As another step toward diversification and specialization, the state Legislature in 1955 authorized youth camps. The camps were to be located on land owned by the Department of Environmental Conservation. Campmen were to be "reoriented" through healthy outdoor work. Originally, participation was limited to inmates between the ages of 16 and 21. In 1960, the law was revised to allow for up to one-fifth of the campmen to be between 21 and 25. Still later, the upper age limit was raised to 35.

The camps were the Department's first minimum-security programs for males. They were also the first since the 1820's to forgo the individual cells of the Auburn system. An early memorandum from Albany reminded facility administrators that they should bear the dormitory setting in mind when making referrals for camp placement. Homosexuals and "stool pigeons," for example, were unsuitable and "personal uncleanliness...should be considered as an unfavorable trait in the selection process."

Montery opens a forestry camp

There was an abandoned Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) camp in the hamlet of Monterey that seemed to be ideal for a youth corrections camp. The CCC had been one of the first New Deal public works projects and was designed "to promote environmental conservation and to build good citizens through vigorous, disciplined outdoor labor."

That sounded very much like the proposed correctional camp. Moreover, the CCC workers had been young (16-25), like the prospective campmen, and mostly urban unemployed. The similarities were too much for the local residents, who remembered the Saturday night forays of the CCC workers into town.

Even though corrections officials knew the inmates would not have that freedom, they agreed to substitute a site in the less populated town of Orange, and Camp Monterey opened in 1958.

Residents' fears of mass escapes and marauding proved groundless. As of 1962, there had been only 10 "walk aways" from Monterey and the three other camps. In each case, the inmates were caught within a few hours without harming anyone.>

Residents also tended to become mollified as they became familiar with the extent of useful labor performed by the camp-men. Early projects of value included reforestation of 145 acres, improvement of 77 acres of hardwood stands, thinning 67 plantation acres, construction of access trails, creation of new campsites at Watkins Glen State Park, maintenance of recreation areas, painting picnic tables, stream improvement at Catharine Creek, construction of marsh ponds and development of food plots on game management areas.

Camp Monterey eventually won the full acceptance of the community. Campmen played baseball games against teams from the outside. Women from local garden clubs regularly visited to help "the boys" with their camp beautification efforts.

The camp's capacity was increased from 60 to 80 in 1960. By this time, two other camps had been established (for a total of four) and the Department specialized Monterey's function in the camp system. Monterey was designated a "pre-parole camp" in 1961. Approximately two months before meeting the Board of Parole, inmates were transferred to Monterey from camps Pharsalia, Georgetown and Summit. Like the pre-release programs in facilities today, the Monterey pre-parole program focused on developing basic skills in getting and holding a job, using social agencies and other community resources, banking, budgeting, insurance and health. Because the inmates were expected to remain for only two to three months, Monterey had no formal education program at this time.

Monterey continued to function as a pre-parole camp until 1972, when it resumed standard camp routines. The state's inmate population explosion had erupted. Housing space for inmates of all descriptions was needed, and the Department could no longer afford the luxury of specialization. Monterey's dorm was enlarged in 1976 and a new dorm was built the next year, bringing the capacity to 130. Inmates with longer terms and more serious crimes were accepted. The neighbors grew nervous. To ease their anxiety, a Community Advisory Board was formed.

During the next couple of years, camp activity began to reach beyond the environmental conservation projects that had been stressed for 20 years. Though community service had always been offered on an informal basis, separate crews were now formally dedicated to helping local townships, fire departments and churches.

By 1987, Camp Monterey had 170 inmates. In July, all would be shipped out. Monterey was ready to take on a new role in the evolving system.

From lockstep to marching

The Auburn System of prison management that was developed in the 1820's required the mass movement of 1,000 or more prisoners from cellblocks to workshops to the mess hall and back and forth again several times a day. To keep control, Auburn's officers, several of whom were veterans, decided to march the prisoners in formation. Not like soldiers, though, because a dignified and proud military bearing was inconsistent with the officials' belief that the convict should be reminded always of his degraded state. Instead, the convicts moved in "lockstep", an awkward, halting shuffle of men in striped suits, their eyes downcast in shame. It was a grotesque and sometimes comical parody of the military march. "Ringed and striped, like a huge worm," is how a line of prisoners in lockstep appeared to one observer, "they squirm and twist down the hillside."

Fifty years later in the early 1980's, "boot camps for criminal offenders first appeared in southern states. They were modeled on the military boot camp, a rigorous program of discipline, indoctrination and physical conditioning that typically serves as basic training for inductees into the armed services. It is almost a matter of faith that the grueling boot camp experience builds character and makes men out of boys. Rebellious youths learn mutual respect, obedience to lawful authority and self-control - values thought necessary not only in a fighting army but also in an orderly peacetime society.

The boot camp would seem a natural for corrections. The sounds of inmates marching and singing into the future would soon replace the silence of the lockstep from yesteryear.

New York opens 'Shock'

New York's program was enacted into law in July 1987. In addition to no-nonsense military discipline, reduced privileges, in-your-face drill instructors and hard physical labor, the six-month shock incarceration program differed from other similar "boot camps" around the nation.

It would stress education, drug arid alcohol abuse treatment and a "therapeutic community" component. Selection at first was limited to inmates no older than 23, but the Legislature gradually extended eligibility to older inmates. Currently, participants must be under 35 years of age.

Monterey was selected as the pilot facility. Campmen were transferred out while physical renovations were made and the staff underwent four weeks of special training. The first 38 shock inmates arrived September 10, 1987.

Just four days later, Monterey was disrupted by a scuffle among a group of inmates. A disturbance at this stage did not bode well for the pilot shock program -- or did it?

The underlying cause of the scuffle, it is believed, was insufficient food rations. Monterey used the established camp diet, but failed to consider two new factors. First, shock inmates had a higher level of physical activity and second, the shock regimen did not allow inmates to supplement the menu with food packages from home and commissary snacks. Some inmates were stealing food from the service line, creating resentment; some wanted to circulate a petition to present to the administration, while others thought this would subject them all to retaliation. Tensions mounted, and a fight broke out in the dorm.

Officers came racing to break up the fight - per the standard prison practice - but now other inmates jumped in. A camp Captain came into the dorm and, in a reflex action, shouted "Lock it up!" (military-ese for "attention!") To his amazement, most of the inmates retreated to their bunks and stood at attention. The incident was over.

Nine inmates were immediately expelled from the program and transferred to regular prisons to serve out their full terms.

Monterey's staff learned something from this incident - and not just that the diet should be beefed up (as it was). They realized that the shock "culture," in just four days, had created an automatic responsiveness to authority that might lessen the need for traditional prison control techniques. The Department also learned it had to do a better job of preparing inmates for the shock regime. The Department now operates a pre-shock orientation and screening program at Lakeview, and this has proved very effective in reducing initial adjustment problems.

Monterey's first outbreak of violence was its last. The pilot program was a success. Based on the Monterey experience, three more facilities have been convened to shock: Summit, Moriah and Lakeview, with the latter operating separate programs for men and women as well as the screening and orientation center for the entire program.

Shock's objectives have been realized. As of April 30, 1998, the taxpayers had realized a total of $565 million in cost avoidances accruing from the reduced time in confinement for graduates, while their early release has not posed any additional risk to the community. Despite more intense supervision by parole authorities, shock graduates are returned to prison at a lower rate than non-graduates

Because of shock's impressive track record, it was used as the basis of another key initiative by Governor Pataki to find alternatives for non-violent offenders. The Willard Drug Treatment Campus, which opened in 1995, is an intensive, highly-structured substance abuse treatment program modeled after the shock program. Many of the staff from Monterey transferred to Willard to open the facility and form the core of its staff.

Despite the new military emphasis, Monterey continues the camp tradition of service to the Department of Environmental Conservation and to neighboring communities. Monterey shock inmates work every year in the Watkins Glen State Park, removing fallen rocks and clearing trails in the scenic Watkins Glen Gorge. They are now engaged in cleaning the Chemung River for the city of Corning. They routinely provide needed work to the village of Painted Post and other local governments, as well as for the Roy Scouts and charitable organizations.

In its 11 years as a shock facility, Monterey has provided nearly 400,000 hours of community service.

In reality, given local budget stresses, much of the work being performed by inmates work that has so enhanced the quality of life for community residents and visitors--would not have been done at all, if not for the inmates of Monterey Shock.
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 Momma Ann; 04-11-2011 at 07:02 AM.. Reason: update!
The Following User Says Thank You to Manzanita For This Useful Post:
luveazy (11-17-2012)
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