Officials are continuing their review of New York's prison system and potential closures could be announced in the coming weeks.
Meanwhile, a regional lawmaker feels confident that a pair of state correctional facilities in Essex County will be spared.
Governor Andrew Cuomo was in Lake Placid earlier this week to outline his legislative agenda for the coming weeks. The popular Democratic governor hopes to enact a cap on property taxes, pass meaningful ethics reform, and sign a bill legalizing gay marriage by the end of the current legislative session.
Cuomo is pressuring lawmakers to accomplish these goals by June 20.
Speaking after a presentation of his agenda, Cuomo said news on potential prison closures is forthcoming.
"We're in the midst of the process now and we'll be having decisions to announce in several weeks," he said.
Earlier this month, a review of state records showed prisons running at about 88 percent capacity. Additionally, the study showed an excess of 8,000 beds throughout the state's 67 correctional facilities.
Cuomo wants to lower the count by some 3,700 beds, which could result in the closure of up to six prisons.
Here in the North Country, a number of state prisons provide critical employment in communities with few private sector opportunities.
Last year, lawmakers scrambled to save the Moriah Shock Incarceration Facility. Rumors have surfaced this year that the boot-camp style prison could be on the chopping block again - as well as the Adirondack Correctional Facility in Ray Brook.
But Randy Douglas, who chairs the Essex County Board of Supervisors, says he's confident the two facilities will remain open.
"We've had no inclination from the governor's staff or the governor's office that any of the two jails in Essex County - Adirondack Correctional or Moriah Shock - will be on the hit list this time around," Douglas said.
According to Douglas, Cuomo understands how important those prison jobs are for the North County's economic health and well-being.
"Keep it in mind that the governor has visited Essex County over the last year, even when he was campaigning for this job, and he realized our issues here and that people rely on these jobs and that helps our economy," he said. "We certainly don't want people moving out of Essex County to relocate their families for another job at a public facility or correctional facility."
Some state officials argue that Cuomo's number of excess prison beds can be misleading.
According to the state Department of Correctional Services, about 2,500 open beds are known as "restricted vacancies," meaning they need to be kept open for prisoners affected by illness, mental health issues, or those considered a security risk.
DOCS officials say another 1,700 beds need to be available in case of fluctuations in the prison population.